Economy

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

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