Nitin Gadkari: MSME sector will tide over coronavirus economic crisis

Nitin Gadkari has said that the MSME sector will tide over the huge blow caused by the lockdown and reduce Chinese import dependence by ramping up domestic manufacturing with the government support.

   
nitin gadkari on coronavirus

In a video conference, Union Minister for MSME, Nitin Gadkari has said that the MSME sector will tide over the huge blow caused by the lockdown and reduce Chinese import dependence by ramping up domestic manufacturing with the government support.

The MSME minister also said that the government has been working on a “war footing” to resolve issues – like working capital crunch and access to affordable financing – faced by the sector, as millions of units stare at staggering losses.

He further added that the committees constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office are continuously monitoring and assessing the situation on the ground and would suggest if and when the lockdown can be lifted in certain sectors for normal operations to resume, and added that “work should begin where possible while keeping the virus at bay”.

The MSME Minister also highlighted that nearly 8-10 lakh units will be restructured in the coming days, asserting that owners will have to take care of their workers and put in place mechanisms for proper sanitisation as a preventive measure once they return to work.

He informed through the video conference that a Rs 10,000 crore “Fund of Funds” has been approved by the Finance Committee and will be placed before the Union Cabinet for approval. This fund, he said, will facilitate MSMEs to raise money from the capital market, as a portion of their equity will be purchased by the government.

The minister quoted, “We will encourage MSMEs to enter the capital market and attract foreign investments, increase exports from the sector through large-scale production and create jobs.”

The minster pointed out that the government is well aware of the issues faced by micro, small and medium enterprises, and packages announced by the Finance Minister will set in motion a recovery for the sector. In fact he added that the recommendations of the UK Sinha Committee appointed by the Reserve Bank of India will soon be implemented.

The minister as also directed district officers to go to banks and facilitate paper work and coordination for loans to be cleared as fast as possible, and a “branch-wise” monitoring was underway to ease the credit woes of the MSME sector.

Meanwhile, referring to reports of nearly 20 lakh migrant labourers living in shelter homes across the country, the minister admitted it as a “serious issue”. However he said that the state governments will have to evolve guidelines towards their safe return and factory owners will have to undertake measures to rebuild their confidence.

The minister also highlighted that it is a “golden opportunity” for the country’s MSMEs who are producing medical devices, masks and ventilators in the wake of the virus outbreak.

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