Covid-19 forces industry into crisis-management mode, puts growth plans on backburner

LN Revathy | Updated on March 23, 2020

Coimbatore, March 23

For most industrialists, the lockdown has come as a sort of nightmare -- both from a business continuity perspective and from the point of view of safe.

“Health is wealth and I cannot afford to compromise on it -- be it self or in the interest of the people who work in my company,” said the owner of a small scale manufacturing unit, preferring anonymity.

While stating that he has asked his employees to stay safe, he did not fail to add that he had even asked his cook and maid to refrain from reporting for work until further orders. “Self-isolation and restraint is the need of the hour. I have asked my brother and sister who live in the same city to keep off social visits for the next three days,” he added.

A cross section of industrialists told BusinessLine that they were in “crisis management mode” and working to tide over the lockdown impact due to the Coronavirus rather than focussing on the business roadmap for the coming fiscal year.

“The Government should give us relief for the lockdown period by giving suitable instructions to banks not to charge interest on loan amounts and all other dues for the said period. Once the situation becomes normal and regular operations resume, banking operations can also be continued,” said R Ramamurthy, President, Codissia.

Further, to help the MSME units pay wages to employees, the government should consider granting subsidies for the lockdown period and defer all statutory dues such as GST and Income Tax for the next three months after the lockdown, he said.

In the neighbouring Tirupur district, knitwear factory operations have come to a grinding halt. “We are with the Government in helping control the spread of Covid 19; in this journey, we realise that no one -- whether high-profile individuals or the common man, has been spared. The Government should help the industry resolve the issue by infusing funds. The situation has worsened in the last couple of days; there is an air of panic,” said Raja Shanmugham, President, Tirupur Exporters’ Association.

Published on March 23, 2020

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