Micro and small-scale industrial units feel orphaned; seek urgent government intervention

LN Revathy Coimbatore | Updated on May 28, 2020

The micro and small industrial units in the district say that the relief measures announced by the Centre would benefit only the MSME sector, leaving tens of thousands of micro units in a calamitous state.

Seeking separate relief allocation for the micro and small-scale sector, representatives of 19 industry associations (representing the micro and small-scale sector), came under one umbrella ― Coimbatore Industrial Associations Forum ― to voice their grievances and seek support from both the Centre and the State.

They said that a major chunk of the ₹3-lakh crore stimulus package should be allocated for the micro and small-scale sector at 6 per cent.

“As most of the micro and small units are neck-deep in trouble, unable to weather the storm, the government should consider waiver of interest for the lockdown period, apart from extending a one-year moratorium for all existing loans.

“The ball is now in the banks’ court. While the government has announced the package, branch heads here contend that they are yet to receive any guidelines regarding the support to be extended from their (respective) head offices. Time is ticking; we feel orphaned,” an industry source told BusinessLine.

Anxiety about their existence loomed large among the entrepreneurs, as on the one hand their customers were deferring orders, while on the other their suppliers were demanding payments.

The Forum sought to keep in abeyance the new MSME definition till the industry recovered from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The government should consider the views of the micro and small-scale sector, the representatives said.

Meanwhile, it is learnt that many of these tiny units were operational only on paper. “We do not have a single order in hand to run the unit. Most of the jobs are in a standstill mode. We are having sleepless nights; have invested in men and machinery, been operational for more than a decade and suddenly find ourselves on the street,” the owner of a small scale unit said, preferring anonymity.

Published on May 28, 2020

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