Shri Nitin Gadkari emphasizes on Agro, Fishing and Forest MSMEs for manufacturing products using local raw material
Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways Shri Nitin Gadkari has emphasized on exploring Agro MSME, Fishing MSMEs, and Forest MSMEs for manufacturing products using local raw material.
Shri Gadkari said this today while addressing a meeting via video conferencing with the representatives of Chamber of Indian Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, and the Institute of Cost Accountants of India on the impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs.
He also re-iterated new Green Express Highways provide an opportunity for the industry to make future investments in industrial clusters, logistics parks equipped with state-of-art technology. He opined that there is a need to work on the decentralization of industries and focus on rural, tribal, and backward areas of the country.
The Union Minister also said that special focus towards export enhancement is required and asked called for adopting necessary practices to reduce power cost, logistics cost, and production cost to become competitive in the global market.
Further, he mentioned that there is also a need to focus on import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. He added that industry should focus more on innovation, entrepreneurship, science and technology, research skill and experiences to convert the knowledge into wealth.
The Minister requested support for arranging ideas to develop an IT-based analysis system for rating of MSMEs to bring transparency and have result-oriented and time-bound processes. In addition to this, he sought support to study best practices in the world to strengthen MSME space in India. He emphasized the importance of time in decision making while calculating the cost of the projects.
Shri Gadkari called upon the industry that it is needed to be ensured by industries that necessary preventive measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He emphasized on the usage of PPE (masks, sanitizer, etc.) and advised to maintain social distancing norms in personal life and during business operations.
He mentioned that all the stakeholders must adopt an integrated approach to come over the crisis while ensuring the lives and livelihood of the people. Shri Gadkari also urged the industry to have a positive attitude during this time to tide over this crisis. He further mentioned that there is a need to learn art of living with COVID-19.
The Minister recalled that the Government of Japan has offered special packages to its industries for taking out Japanese investments from China and move elsewhere. He opined that it is an opportunity for India that should be grabbed.
During this interaction, the representatives expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by them amid COVID-19 pandemic along with few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the sector afloat. Some of the major issues highlighted and the suggestions given included: establishing a special tribunal for MSME cases, stopping SARFAESI Act for a year, plan to ensure adequate financing option and mechanism to track efficient utilization, plan to overcome the challenge of labor shortage due to movement of migrant laborers, provision for MSMEs considering the threat of cheap import, the release of delayed payments, restructuring of NPA accounts, removing the requirement of external credit rating and CIBIL score for a bank loan, temporarily suspending option of making an appeal against MSME if any court has given the decision in favor of the MSME, supply chain issues for finished products, applying GST on receivables, arranging documentation (land use permission, fire department NOC, etc.) for starting industries in rural areas, not taking margin money in the bank guarantee, plan for training on costing, best practices in MSME, etc.
Shri Gadkari responded to the questions from representatives and assured all possible help from the government. He informed me that he would take up the issues with related departments.
He emphasized that the industry should take a positive approach and tap the opportunities that will be created when the COVID-19 crisis gets over.