All India Manufactures’ Organisation (AIMO) has urged the government to provide support packages and incentives to the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) sector affected by the lockdown due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Several sectors such as aviation, hospitality, consumer durables are among the worst hit by this epidemic. All the MSMEs/self-employed individuals/entrepreneurs associated or whose revenues depend either directly or indirectly on these sectors have been on the verge of a shutdown situation,” said Shrikant Dalmia, Zonal Vice-President West, AIMO.

Work from home (WFH) is applicable to less than 8 per cent of the core MSME and services sector. WFH has resulted in over 63 per cent drop in productivity in the services industry. The sector has seen a mass migration of labour to the the villages, added Dalmia.

Sector in real danger

“According to reports from our members and clusters of the MSME sector over the past few weeks, over 60-odd million MSMEs are in real danger due to market issues with over 92 per cent drop in domestic sales compared to the same time last year. There is a 100 per cent drop in export sales compared to the same time last year,” said Sushil Vyas, Secretary, AIMO.

Association members are unable to pay wages to staff due to lack of revenue and production,” added Vyas.

AIMO has also requested the Finance Minister to waive bank interest the way it has been done for farmers. “Instruct banks not to make entrepreneurs’ NPAs for not paying interest till December 31, 2020. If some banks, airlines and corporates are bailed out, even certain MSMEs should be bailed out, considering that MSMEs employ over 121 million people in the country,” said Vyas.