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Kassia urges State govt to exempt SSIs from week-long lockdown

Our Bureau Bengaluru | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

The Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association has urged the State government to exempt SSIs from the proposed lockdown in Bengaluru and other districts and consider allowing units to operate at least one shift.

An estimated 20 per cent of units had shutdown in Karnataka due to the lockdown imposed in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Now as Bengaluru Urban, rural districts and few other districts are also going in for a second lockdown from July 14 to 22 to contain the spread of Covid-19, Kassia has opposed the imposition of lockdown.

The small scale body said it is deeply concerned about the likely consequences of the scheduled lockdown, in particular, on the MSMEs, which have barely recovered from the earlier closure on account of the Covid crisis.

“ The decision now to reimpose closure again for a week will further drive a large number of units out of business as they will hardly be in a position to sustain the impact anymore,” said KB Arasappa, president Kassia.

“Bengaluru has nearly 2.40 lakh registered units with an employment of 25 lakhs and investment in the range of ₹40,000 crore. This is excluding the unorganised sector which is close to the organised numbers. The economic and social impact will, therefore, be disastrous,” he added.

No entrepreneur will be able to pay wages under the circumstances and tens of thousands of workers may never be re-employed, when normalcy returns,” he explained.

Kassia estimates that a month’s lockdown cost the State Rs 10,000 crore in revenue and Bengaluru being the major source of up to 70 per cent of these revenues, it is not hard to estimate the loss from one week of closure of the metropolis to the exchequer.

Arasappa said “While we are with the government in the fight against the pandemic, we nevertheless would like to urge the Chief Minister to seriously consider possible ways to allow industry to operate at least a single shift in the prevailing situation following the necessary protocols. We believe that ensuring industry, particularly MSMEs, to function is no less vital in the best interest of the state and the economy, than maintenance of essential supplies.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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