Knitters’ body submits MSME revival plan with PM Modi
In a letter sent to PM, the association has demanded relief for industry in terms of bank interest waiver, payment of salaries/wages to workers, ban on duty-free imports from Bangladesh, etc.Updated: May 02, 2020 23:39 IST
With the industry reeling under losses due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Ludhiana Knitters’ Association on Saturday sent a plan to revive the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) sector to the Prime Minister’s (PM) Office on Saturday.
In a letter sent to the PMO, the association has demanded relief for the industry in terms of bank interest waiver, payment of salaries/wages to workers by the government, ban on duty-free imports from Bangladesh, etc.
President of the association Ajit Lakra said, “The steps being taken by the government to contain Covid-19 are need of the hour, but these are also causing damage to the economy and the industry and a special plan to revive them is also needed.”
He said the Union government needed to take a decision to cash in on the situation when the US-China relations were at the historic low and several nations were deciding to boycott China.
Some of the major reliefs demanded by the association include bank interest waiver for six months, deferment of term loan EMIs for a minimum of one year without downgrading the credit rating of units to avoid NPAs, lowering interest rates of MSME industry loans by a minimum of 3 basis points and waiving of ESI and PF contribution by employers and employees for three months.
The association has also demanded that the government should pay or contribute in the salaries/wages to be paid for the lockdown period and for this funds lying under ESI and PF heads can be used. To ease liquidity of the units, the association has suggested that 75% of the goods and services tax (GST) credit of the units should be refunded.
The association has also suggested that policies should be amended to attract the companies exiting China and make India a preferred destination for foreign investment.
The association has also sought a ban on duty-free import of man-made fibre (MMF) garments from Bangladesh and increase in duties on all imports from China to promote the Indian industry for substituting imports.
The insurance premiums of the industry are very high and beyond the reach of MSMEs, so rates should be reduced and premium of all categories of insurance for the lockdown period be waived or period of renewals be extended accordingly, the association said.
‘GOVT SHOULD UTILISE WEALTH OF TEMPLES TO GENERATE FUNDS’
The association said, “The government can utilise 90% wealth of temples and other religious places for generating funds to compensate banks and insurance companies to provide the sought reliefs. By doing so, the government can generate up to Rs 20 lakh crore. The government should also bring back about US $179 billion kept in US bonds with a return of not more than 1% per annum.”
Unless the above reliefs are announced immediately, there will be massive unemployment and the economy will not be able to bounce back, said the association chief.