KCCI seeks Finance Ministry’s intervention to rescue MSMEs

The Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) has urged Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to rush to the rescue of trade and industry, particularly MSMEs, in the wake of the State government imposing severe restrictions on commercial activities to curb the spread of COVID-19.

In a letter to Ms. Sitharaman, KCCI president Isaac Vas said the industrial fraternity understood the reasons for imposing the restrictions.

However, just as the government cares for the well being of its people, it should also care to the well being of the industrial sector, he said demanding a White Paper on the industrial scenario in the country.

With due concern towards public health, the restrictions have also affected the trade, industry, and commerce with severe short and long-term adverse impacts hitting the economy.

The White Paper may include steps taken after the previous lockdown, present and future forecast of COVID-19 numbers for the next 12 months, present and future forecasts on healthcare infrastructure and outlay, and spending of COVID-19 budget outlays.

As an urgent action from the government, KCCI requested the Minister to extend all compliance dates ending July 31 to August 31 without penalty, input tax credit relaxation for six months, and similar relaxations under other laws.

Mr. Vas urged the government to extend financial support to the sector including immediate refunds of income tax, GST and duty drawback, interest and penalty waiver on power dues, and other support.

The banking sector should waive interest for MSMEs during the lockdown period.

Mr. Vas said while the trade and industry assures its commitment to particpate and comply with all government directives, it also expects empathetic listening to the appeal and urgent mitigative steps to protect the economic health of the country.

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