MSMEs seek bailout to recover from COVID-19 crisis
The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in the State have sought urgent steps from the government to address their concerns in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis.
In a letter to the Chief Minister, the Kerala State Small Industries Association (KSSIA) has sought allocation of at least ₹2,000 crore from the ₹20,000-crore financial package announced by the government to tackle the crisis.
Functionaries of some other industrial units, meanwhile, requested the authorities to permit them to clean and maintain machines and equipment on their premises during the lockdown.
A. Vijayaraj, general secretary of the Sign Printing Association, claimed the units’ costly equipment would be destroyed if they werenot cleaned regularly. He urged the Chief Minister as well as the State Police Chief to give permission for the purpose once in two days.
KSSIA president M. Khalid and general secretary A. Nizarudeen sought a one-year moratorium on repayment of term loans taken from banks and other financial institutions. These institutions may also be asked to provide additional working capital if there is a need, without collateral security.
The government should refund the excess input credit under the Goods and Services Tax (GST). There should not be any penalty or penal interest on delay in payment of power bills, provident fund and Employees’ State Insurance contribution and GST. The Kerala State Electricity Board should waive all fixed charges for the next three months and allow consumers to pay the bill for March in three equal installments.
Mr. Khalid and Mr. Nizarudeen pointed out that migrant labourers, who formed the backbone of MSMEs, should be persuaded to stay back in the State. There should be a moratorium on inspections for six months. The government and semi-government institutions need to release all payments due to MSMEs for products supplied and services rendered. Units producing hand sanitisers were finding it difficult to get spirit and the government should make it available, they added.
Source- The Hindu.
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