The MSME sector is not exactly enthused by the package unveiled by Finance Minister Nirmala
Sitharaman on Wednesday, a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a 20 lakh crore
stimulus package under #AatmaNirbharBharat programme.
While several industry captains and chambers of commerce lauded the measures announced so far, the
MSME sector, appeared less enthused. A handful of other sectors too felt that the economic package
under the scheme for a self-reliant India, unveiled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, may
not be of help to them in the immediate future.
For every section of our society there is something in the AatmaNirbharBharat,’ said Finance Minister
Nirmala Sitharaman, while making announcements of the Rs 20 lakh crore package on Wednesday.
A few sectors do not believe there was something for every section. Some sectors have expressed their
unhappiness with what they feel could be done for them.
It is disappointing for small and medium enterprises as none of the announcements will help us
immediately. The only relief is that all pending payments from government will be cleared in 45 days. No
interest waiver was announced for the COVID-19 lockdown and there is also no reduction in GST.
Besides, the conditions for availing Provident Fund (PF) contributions have not been relaxed. But many
industrialists feel that it is very difficult to meet the norm that 90% of employees should earn less than
₹15,000 as monthly salary.
There is a general opinion that immediate financial support was the need of the hour for micro and small
units to resume their operations. The basic premise is that Cash is the King. And MSME sector needs
cash. Some MSMEs want the Govt to pay the salary of their staff, which is a far-fetched thought.
On the other hand, the new definition of MSMEs is not going to help the existing units that have been
suffering for the past five years. Veteran players feel that about 75% of the existing MSMEs will cease to
exist in the post lockdown scenario. The new definition will help big companies enter the MSME sector
and enjoy all benefits of the struggling unit
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