COVID-19 | Gadkari holds talks with MSME industry members

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari on Wednesday held talks with the representatives of the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) industry and assured all possible help from the government to tide over the challenges created by the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The MSME Minister held separate meetings via video conferencing with the members of the All India Plastic Manufacturers Association (AIPMA), and the PHD Chamber of Commerce & Industry, from his residence in Nagpur.

 

Also read: COVID-19 pandemic pulls India’s service sector activity into contraction mode

 

During the meeting, the representatives raised some concerns related to the industry and also gave suggestions to the minister.

Some of the issues they pointed out and the suggestions they gave included: waiver of fixed charges on utility (electricity, water) bills, extension of moratorium for certain payments, inclusion of certain goods in the category of essential commodities, payment of salaries to workers during lockdown from their ESI and Provident Fund, addressing liquidity crunch through subsidy, extension in GST payment, relief in transportation for exports of goods.

 

Also read: Data | The lockdown effect on jobs in India

 

Mr. Gadkari noted down their suggestions and assured them that he would take up the issues with the Union Finance Minister and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).

“The suggestions related to my department (MSME) will be addressed immediately…We are standing with you. But the industry should also see that other stakeholders like banks, financial institutions and electricity sector are also feeling the heat and need our support,” he said.

Mr. Gadkari said that the industry should work together and tap the opportunities that will be created when the COVID-19 crisis gets over.

He said that several leading countries are planning to move their production units from China, which can be an opportunity for the Indian industry.

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