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Coronavirus lockdown: Release dues, extend moratorium to support MSMEs, CII tells govt

CII urges government to clear all outstanding dues to MSMEs, including payments for supply for goods and services to PSUs by MSMEs, GST refunds, various state and central government incentives for MSMEs

twitter-logoBusinessToday.In | April 14, 2020 | Updated 16:00 IST
Coronavirus lockdown: Release dues, extend moratorium to support MSMEs, CII tells govt
CII calls for extension of three-month moratorium period allowed by RBI to 6 months for MSMEs

Industry body CII has urged centre for immediate release of government dues to support MSMEs amid coronavirus lockdown. It has also requested enhanced working capital, moratorium extension along with wage support. The apex body has further asked the government to provide additional funding through Mudra Bank and other MSME-focussed banks.

The industry body has established a 'CII COVID Rehabilitation and Relief Fund (CRR)' to assist small enterprises or MSMEs.

The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) has been highlighting the need to focus on small businesses, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), as they are worst hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

CII has outlined a list of suggestions it hopes the government will look at to boost growth of the MSME sector.

Also Read: Coronavirus lockdown 2.0: MSMEs don't have enough liquidity to pay wages for April, says FIEO

Detailing the suggestions, Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII said, "With limited resources, MSMEs do not have the capacity to withstand massive shocks like COVID 19. In addition, many MSMEs are an important part of larger supply chains. The healths of these MSMEs have a bearing on the entire supply chain, including the large corporates".

"Therefore, special, immediate and substantive support measures are required to see the MSMEs through this crisis", added Banerjee.

Also Read: Lockdown 2.0: India Inc supports extension; seeks stimulus package to revive economy

Here are key highlights of the CII suggestions:

  • Increase working capital limits, with relaxed collateral norms. Additional working capital equivalent to April - June wage bill of the borrowers (backed by a Government guarantee, at 4-5 per cent, with a refinance guarantee from RBI) is needed by small businesses to bounce back.
  • Additional reconstruction term loans with a government guarantee on default, up to 20 per cent.
  • Extend the three-month moratorium period allowed by RBI to 6 months along with increasing the assets of Mudra Bank and other MSME-focused banks.
  • Clear all outstanding government dues to MSMEs, including payments for supply for goods and services to PSUs by MSMEs, GST refunds, various state and central government incentives for MSMEs.
  • Government departments that make purchases should not impose delay penalties as delays are bound to happen due the disruptions caused by the lockdown. Completion dates of the government projects need to be reconsidered and extended without liquidated damages, till such time the fear of COVID-19 is over.
In an attempt to stem the spread of novel coronavirus across the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday announced extension of the nationwide lockdown till May 3. India has reported 10,363 positive cases of COVID-19, according the latest data issued by the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. This tally includes, 8,988 active novel coronavirus cases, 339 deaths, 1,035 cured/discharged and 1 migrated.

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