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Extension of deadline for sub-debt scheme for MSMEs welcomed

BHEL Small Industries Centre has expressed relief over the announcement by Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to extend Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt (CGSSD) till September 30.

In its announcement earlier this month, the Central Government had informed that the scheme has been extended for six months to keep avenues of assistance open for stressed MSME units from the ₹20,000 crore subordinate debt fund.

The Distressed Assets Fund was created during May, 2020, under the Atma Nirbhar Bharat Package to provide credit facility through lending institutions to the promoters of stressed MSMEs. The scheme was to remain in operation till March 31.

“The extension of deadline will provide breathing space for stressed MSME units for consolidation,” BHELSIA president Rajappa Rajkumar said.

Last December, BHELSIA had approached the Union Finance Ministry to modify the sub-debt scheme to enable stressed MSMEs to tide over the crisis caused by COVID pandemic.

The sub-debt scheme in the present form was not of utility to stressed units of Tiruchi MSME engineering cluster. Subsequently, the MSME Ministry was also sounded about the issue.

The six-month extension of Credit Guarantee Scheme for Subordinate Debt (CGSSD) has come at a crucial time when the ancillary industries are struggling with the impact of rise in price of steel.

The Central Government’s extension of deadline for coal-fired power plants to lower their sulphur dioxide emissions is also a welcome decision, Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar said.

In its order issued on April 1, the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change had pushed the deadline for thermal electricity generators to install flue gas desulphurisation technology by up to three years.

The utilities were not able to take to the technology due to the huge costs before the deadline of December 2017, and were given varying time frames for compliance. The latest deadline was December 2022.

The new order pushes the deadline to 2024, for plants in less populated area. Plants due to retire soon have been given time till December 2025 even if they are situated in heavily-polluted areas.

Most of the plants nearing retirement are owned by State governments.

The three-year extension of deadline for installation of flue gas desulphurisation technology will give a push to chemical industries, Mr. Rajappa Rajkumar said.

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