Pune: Small, medium scale industries seek relief, restructuring of loans

Sandeep Belsare, the president of the Pimpri Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, had met Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwan Karad on Sunday and pressed for a financial package aimed at the SME sector.

Small and Medium Scale (SME) industries have asked for restructuring of their loans and easy availability of credit to help them tide over the crisis brought about by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Sandeep Belsare, the president of the Pimpri Chinchwad Small Scale Industries Association, had met Union Minister of State for Finance Dr Bhagwan Karad on Sunday and pressed for a financial package aimed at the SME sector.

Belsare, in his memorandum, had pointed out that all industries in Maharashtra were shut for two months last year during the national lockdown which had led to huge losses. Many industries continue to struggle to get back to normal levels of production. While the industries were shut, they had to service their loans as banks had not given them any leeway.

“We have asked the Union Minister to ensure that the interest and repayment amounts for those two months be waived off,” he said.

Belsare also pointed out that most of the government-run banks were reluctant to provide loans to the sector owing to which they had to depend upon private or cooperative banks whose interest rates are higher. “The minister was apprised of this and we have requested him to bring out a new policy aimed at our sector,” he added.

MSMEs, Belsare said, have the ever-growing problem of non-performing assets and because of the slowdown associated with macro-economic conditions, they are unable to reduce the same. The Central Government’s special loan package is disbursed mainly through national banks which many of the small and medium scale industries are not able to take advantage of.

“The minister should ensure that the Centre’s schemes are made available to private and cooperative banks as well. This will help in the revival of small and medium scale industries,” he added.

The sector has also asked the government to take action against big companies which do not pay their vendors within the stipulated time frame of 45 days. Suitable mechanism has to be brought in to integrate the GST portal with the MSMED Act so that the errant companies are flagged, he said.

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