The de-reservation of 20 products meant for the micro and small enterprises such as pickles, mustard oil, bread and wooden furniture by the Union Government will hit the MSMEs in the country hard, and therefore the move should be revoked, according to B.V Rama Rao, the president of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Industries (FAPI).

He said at a press meet here on Friday that over the years the list of products reserved for the MSMEs had been reduced from 800 to 20 and now even those had been de-reserved. He said the justification for such a move, that it would bring in greater investment and better technologies, was not convincing. The smaller units would be pushed out of business, he said.

He also said the MSMEs were finding it very hard to get land anywhere to set up their units and the policies of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation (APIIC) were not at all friendly to the smaller units.

He said efforts were being made to de-reserve 1,345 acres of forest land at Nadupur village in Peda Gantyada mandal of Visakhapatnam district and hand it over to the APIIC for allotment to industrial units. "It would be better if the land is allocated directly to the MSMEs. The APIIC is acting like a real estate agent and not a promotional agency," he said.

Kaja Khan, the Managing Director of a small unit near Mangalagiri in Guntur district, said nothing was being done for the MSMEs in the State and many of the units were going sick because of Government policies.

V.V.N Murthy, the president of Ancillary and Downstream Units' Association, said the bigger units such as the Visakhapatnam steel plant should help the MSMEs. The Government should also change its policies and otherwise MSMEs would not be able to survive.