Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari said that Government is working on a separate scheme to address delayed payments issues of MSMEs wherein a dedicated fund will be created for payments to MSMEs.
While commenting on delayed payments to MSMEs, Gadkari said that all efforts should be made to make payments immediately and all Government Departments have been given such directions.
He was speaking while interacting via video conferencing with the representatives of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of India (ASSOCHAM) on impact of COVID-19 on MSMEs.
Shri Gadkari called upon the industry that while the government has allowed certain industry sectors to start functioning, it is also needed to be ensured by industries that necessary preventive measures are taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He emphasized that organizations should ensure that their workers and executives are taken care of by providing food, shelter and maintaining social distancing norms.
He stressed that there is also need to focus on import substitution to replace foreign imports with domestic production. He urged enterprises to make use of technology and mentioned that research, innovation and quality improvement can play a major role in industrial development.
The Minister recalled that Government of Japan has offered special package to its industries for taking out Japanese investments from China and move elsewhere. He opined that it is an opportunity for India and which should be grabbed.
He mentioned that work on Green Express Highway has already started, and this is an opportunity for industry to make future investments in industrial clusters, industrial parks, logistics parks. He opined that there is a need to expand the horizon of industrial cluster in areas other than metro cities and urged that such proposals be submitted to Government.
Shri Gadkari emphasized that all the related stakeholders should work together and tap the opportunities that will be created when the COVID-19 crisis gets over. He called upon all sectors to remain positive in adversity.
Some of the issues pointed out by the representatives and the suggestions given included: prioritizing launch of interest subvention scheme, opening the markets along with starting operations of the industries, effective implementation of RBI guideline related to providing additional liquidity to industries, etc.
Shri Gadkari responded to the questions from representatives and requested for sending suggestions and assured all the help from the government. He informed that he would take up the issues with related departments/stakeholders to devise solutions at the earliest.
During this interaction, the representatives of ASSOCHAM expressed concerns regarding various challenges being faced by MSMEs amid COVID-19 pandemic along with few suggestions and requested support from the government to keep the MSME sector afloat.