Covid-19 crisis: SMEs for payroll subsidy, ESI/ PF payments by govt for six months

Anil Urs Bengaluru | Updated on April 14, 2020 Published on April 14, 2020

Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and small businesses have sought payroll subsidy and have requested Centre/States to take care of ESI/ PF payments for the next six months.

“Payroll subsidy of minimum 50 per cent for six months, government paying ESI/ PF payments, fixed charges on electricity bills must be waived, and electricity tax/interest in addition to effecting tariff reduction is necessary to deal with the crisis, especially during and after lockdown is lifted,” R Raju, President Karnataka Small Scale Industries Assocation (Kassia) told BusinessLine.

He added, “We welcome the extension of lockdown till May 3 to spike the pandemic. There is no gainsaying the fact this is necessary to deal with the crisis as the just concluding 21-day lock-down seems to indicate.”

Kassia president said the chamber has requested the following help from both Centre and State governments. “In addition to payroll subsidy, ESI/ PF payments and electricity bills payment, we want the State governments not to charge interest on delayed payment on power bills and no disconnection for non-payment,” Raju said.

SMEs need moratorium on all payments for six months and banking norms pertaining to MSMEs to be eased and all beneficial schemes properly implemented, he added.

On the wages front, Raju said “SME body wants freeze in wage hike for a period to ensure survival and retention of jobs. As already mooted in many cases, compliance must be relaxed,” he said.

He added “The government must ensure that interest rates are adequately subsidised to ensure that SMEs get finance at 4 per cent for the year so as to be back on track.”

The chamber is seriously concerned about the circular issued by the labour department directing industries to pay full salary as this may not be feasible unless the government comes out with payroll support, Raju said.

Published on April 14, 2020

A letter from the Editor

Dear Readers,

The coronavirus crisis has changed the world completely in the last few months. All of us have been locked into our homes, economic activity has come to a near standstill. Everyone has been impacted.

Including your favourite business and financial newspaper. Our printing and distribution chains have been severely disrupted across the country, leaving readers without access to newspapers. Newspaper delivery agents have also been unable to service their customers because of multiple restrictions.

In these difficult times, we, at BusinessLine have been working continuously every day so that you are informed about all the developments – whether on the pandemic, on policy responses, or the impact on the world of business and finance. Our team has been working round the clock to keep track of developments so that you – the reader – gets accurate information and actionable insights so that you can protect your jobs, businesses, finances and investments.

We are trying our best to ensure the newspaper reaches your hands every day. We have also ensured that even if your paper is not delivered, you can access BusinessLine in the e-paper format – just as it appears in print. Our website and apps too, are updated every minute, so that you can access the information you want anywhere, anytime.

But all this comes at a heavy cost. As you are aware, the lockdowns have wiped out almost all our entire revenue stream. Sustaining our quality journalism has become extremely challenging. That we have managed so far is thanks to your support. I thank all our subscribers – print and digital – for your support.

I appeal to all or readers to help us navigate these challenging times and help sustain one of the truly independent and credible voices in the world of Indian journalism. Doing so is easy. You can help us enormously simply by subscribing to our digital or e-paper editions. We offer several affordable subscription plans for our website, which includes Portfolio, our investment advisory section that offers rich investment advice from our highly qualified, in-house Research Bureau, the only such team in the Indian newspaper industry.

A little help from you can make a huge difference to the cause of quality journalism!

Support Quality Journalism
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor
You have read 1 out of 3 free articles for this week. For full access, please subscribe and get unlimited access to all sections.