Even as the slowdown gathers speed and spreads to the entire economy, Gujarat chief minister Vijay Rupani on September 19 tried to downplay the crisis saying the economic slump is a mere misconception as there is no material evidence to prove it.
"See, the economic slowdown is just a misconception (Mandi ae ek hawa chhe)" Rupani told reporters when pointed out that many MSMEs were shut in the state due to the slowdown and argued that there is no concrete evidence to prove that the economy is on a downhill.
During the press meet, Rupani, along with state energy minister Saurabh Patel, announced a major change in the solar policy for MSME units which would bring down the cost of electricity for such units.
Rupani said Gujarat is having around 33 lakh MSME units.
"We have not come across any concrete case which would prove that a particular MSME unit was totally shut down (due to economic slowdown). And, even if the industry is facing a slowdown, this latest step taken by our government would help them in reducing their overall cost. We will take all necessary steps to help the industry" Rupani said.
As per the 2015 solar policy for MSME, such units can generate electricity for their own consumption through solar panels installed in or outside their premises.
However, as per the policy announced in 2015, the energy generation capacity of such solar project must be less than 50 per cent of their sanction load.
Now, the state government has removed the 50 per cent cap, allowing MSME units to generate electricity through solar panels without any restrictions, said Patel.
In addition to the reduction in the energy bill, these units can sell excess electricity to the state government at Rs 1.75 per unit, said Patel.