At a National Seminar on ” Corona Virus- Impact on Trade & Small Industries” held today at New Delhi by the Confederation of All India Traders(CAIT), the leaders of various prominent trade sectors and MSMEs in a unanimous voice appreciated the steps taken by the Government to protect Country from deadly Corona Virus which has resulted in lesser infected cases of this virus in India in comparison to other countries over the globe and also stressed the need to downplay the hype and panic created among Countrymen.
However, the seminar was of the considered opinion that in order to maintain the supply chain effectively and uninterrupted, the domestic small industries should be encouraged to produce more and use their optimum capacity of production. The Seminar in a unanimous resolution also urged the Government to provide fiscal, financial & taxation stimulus to both trade & small Industry. The Seminar was chaired by CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia and was participated by leaders of different sectors including, Mobile, Electronics, Pharmaceuticals, Chemical, Marble, Iron & Steel, Automobiles, Chemical, Textile, etc. Mr. Ajay Sahai, DG of Federation of Indian Exporters Organisation also attend the Seminar.
While expressing concern over the COVID-19, Mr. Rajneesh Goenka, President, MSME Forum said that the MSME sector is dependent upon China & other Countries for its raw material to a great extent but if the Government provides funding and some stimulus, the MSME sector can become self-dependent. Mr. Ajay Sahai of FIEO said that the Indian economy is driven by the domestic market but still global disturbances affect domestic exports. India should take advantage in exporting edible products and food items like Tea, Tobacco, Marine food, Spices etc. It is time to scale up domestic production.
The Financial Cycle of exports is big and hence the credit period on export sales should be extended. Mr. Pankaj Mohindroo, President, Indian Cellular Association said that there is domestic production loss in the Mobile sector is of Rs.6000 crore but because of the shortage of mobile handsets, the dead inventory lying with the Manufacturers have been liquidated.Mr. Suresh Bindal from the textile sector said that the Indian textile market is facing challenges from Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. To compete with them, India will have to develop state of art International technology. Mr. Naresh Rawat, President, Ferro Alloys Dealers Association said that as per Government policy, delivery of all imports is being allowed after cooling period of cargo for 14 days against actual travel period for 4-5 days from Singapore & Malaysia. In view of this restriction, the importers are required to pay heavy demurrage and shipping charges which should be removed by the Government. Mr. Sumit Agrawal from Marble Industry expressed deep concern over the deteriorating situation in both China & Italy from where nearly 75% of domestic marble demand is met.
The marble trade requires a personal visit to both Countries for sourcing and due to bad situation in both Countries and travel restrictions by the Government, the marble trade consisting of about 1500 processing units are likely to shut in another month. Several other leaders of different verticals of trade echoed similar sentiments.
CAIT National President Mr. B.C.Bhartia & Secretary General Mr. Praveen Khandelwal said that the Seminar was an eye-opener and brought the ground realities into the limelight. Summing ups the recommendations of the Seminar, they said that in order to promote exports, the Government should promote Video Conferencing of Indian Exporters with prospective Buyers from different Countries through Indian Missions abroad as all International Trade Fairs have been suspended. Instead of the blanket ban on all foreign travelers to India, selective permission may be granted to technocrats who are involved in Research & Development work to assist Indian trade & Industry and for completion of ongoing projects.
Both Mr. Bhartia & Mr. Khandelwal urged the Government for close coordination between Government and trade & small industries, Reserve Bank should provide a monetary stimulus, the Central Government & State Government should provide fiscal stimulus and Recapitalisation of Banks through the strengthening of Non-Banking Finance Companies and Micro Finance Institutions and RBI & Government, together issues underwritten advisory to Banks for providing Corona Cash loans upto 7% of total sanctioned limits with each month 1% of cash limit should be reduced and the account should come back at par in 7 months. All statutory due dates for payment & filing of returns be postponed till 30th June and Bank EMIs be also postponed to 30th June.
The trade leaders further urged the Government to provide Cash bridge loan amount should be calculated on both fund and non-fund based limits. Automatic loan approval subject to the demand of a company. All bank loan installments should be suspended for 12 months. Small Industries should be liberally funded to increase domestic production to meet the domestic demand. A package of tax benefits may be announced by the Govt to accelerate domestic production and ensuring an uninterrupted supply chain.
The Industry and the importers should make an exercise to find out alternate sources of required material. Domestic production should be scaled up and spare capacity lying with the Industrial Units should be used at its best to ensure sufficient production.