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MSMEs appeal to government for assistance

Association writes to CM and Union Finance Minister seeking support

MSME units across Tamil Nadu have made an appeal to the Centre and the State governments, seeking financial support and other forms of assistance to help them tide over the COVID-19 crisis.

In a letter to Chief Minister M.K. Stalin, The Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries’ Association (Tanstia) requested that fixed charges for Low Tension supplies and demand charges for High Tension supplies be waived for the lockdown period.

The association also asked the government to permit workers to travel on two-wheelers as MSME units cannot afford to arrange buses or other modes of transport for them.

S. Anburajan, president of Tanstia, said soap and detergent manufacturers should be considered as essential manufacturers as these products are used for hygiene purposes. He said existing units producing oxygen and other essential goods should be considered for working capital assistance from the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation at a subsidised rate of interest.

A letter was also sent to Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, requesting the withdrawal of the Sarfaesi Act or at least an exemption for units that have taken loans of up to ₹5 crore with immediate effect, which would help them survive. “To help the entrepreneurs, ESI and PF for the lockdown period (at least three months) should be paid by the Union government without any pre-condition. This will be of great support to the industry,” Mr. Anburajan said.

The Guindy Industrial Estate Manufacturers Association has written to the Finance Minister stating that more than 80% of the MSME units would become NPA and would be forced to shut down if the government did not provide immediate support. Association president K.V. Kanakambaram has requested the RBI and banks not to impose NPA norms on the MSME units for a period of two years and give additional packages for restructuring of the units.

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