The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged the Union Finance Minister to address the problems of MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector following the second wave of Covid and lockdowns associated with it.

In a letter to the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman, the KCCI President, Isaac Vas, said that operations are down the MSME sector, which is facing the challenge of meeting commitments such as payment of salaries and wages, rents, power dues, tax dues and bank loan servicing commitments.

Requesting the Government to expedite the refunds of income tax, GST, duty drawback, he also sought the interest and penalty waiver on payment of power dues to Escoms (electricity supply companies) for MSMEs and domestic users.

He said the banks should extend interest waiver for MSMEs for the loans obtained, covering the lockdown period. Funding should be given to MSMEs under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme under the Aatma Nirbhar package.

Seeking relaxion of norms for declaration of a loan account as NPA, including six-month repayment holiday from April 2021, he said there should be relaxation of penal fees for non-submission of stock statements, financial statements in connection with bank borrowings for the lockdown period and the following three months.

Stating that the rate of RoDTEP (Remission of Duties and Taxes on Export Products) is not finalised, he said considering the pandemic situation the Government should fix an appropriate rate for RoDTEP at the earliest.

Special package should be given to tourism, hospitability and travel industry, Vas said.

KCCI also urged the Government to provide relaxation in some of the compliance matters.