Ludhiana: Today Gurmeet Singh Kular President along with Rajeev Jain General Secretary and Balbir Singh Mankoo Finance Secretary of Federation of Industrial and Commercial Organization popularly known as FICO participated in a National Level Video Conference with Nitin Gadkari Union Minister of MSME, Road Transport and Highways, and discussed in detail about the Impacts of COVID-19 on MSMEs and Exporters, along with the survival & revival measures to be taken care off by the industry as well as the government. Kular put forward the following demands:
•    Turn Over Package for Trade & Industry
There is a need of a Special Package for Trade & Industry which is the backbone of the Indian economy. It is requested to introduce a turnover based special package which should be dependent on GST Sales Return of Financial Year 2019-20, The returns till February have been submitted, based on that the average annual sales can be calculated and the package should be introduced providing 25% relief to the micro Sector, 20% to The Small Sector, 15% to Medium Sector & 10% to the Large Sector.

•    Interest Waiver
No interest should be charges for at least period of lockdown as we have CC limits which wholly depends upon sale purchase as there is no sales. So, no income then how can we give interest. It should be completely abolished. Furthermore, Industry needs the deferment of the all interest on all loans for the period of lockdown plus 3 months after the lockdown is lifted.

•    Extension in CLCSS
Credit Link Capital Subsidy Scheme was introduced to facilitate technology up-gradation in MSMEs by providing an upfront capital subsidy of 15 percent (on institutional finance of up to Rs.1 crore availed by them) for induction of well-established and improved technology. Post lock down the Government should enhance CLCSS Subsidy limit from 15% to 50% & investment limit from 1 Crore to 25 Crore so that industry can set up new projects as now world is looking at India as next manufacturing hub after China. We should encash this opportunity. Also, the banks should be instructed to facilitate the industry with the CLCSS Scheme.

•    Definition of MSME
The Definition of MSME should be revised as the type of machineries have been transformed from orthodox Manual Machines to automatic CNC, VMC, etc. So, it is the need of the hour that the investment in Micro sector should be allowed up to 5 Crores, investment in Small sector should be allowed up to 30 Crores, & Medium sector up to 50 crores.

•    Safeguard Duty
COVID-19 hit the exports very bad, but there is a huge scope of development in exports sector, as world is looking for an alternative to the China, and India holds a great chance in that provided the government intervene and boost the exports by providing the special incentives to compete with China. Also, by implementing the Safeguard Duty on goods which are/ can be made in India so that the “Make in India” dream can be achieved.

•    Wages & Salaries
The whole country is under lockdown since 22nd March 2020, which means that the factories are closed, not only the production is zero but the flow of finances is also zero, This is a very critical position for the industry, and the industry is not in the position to pay the salary & wages for the Month of April to the labour sitting home. It is requested the Center Government as well as the State Government to intervene and share 50% of the salaries & wages each to help the industry by paying the salaries & wages for the Month of April & for the lock down period.

•    Highway Projects
Considering the current lockdown period, and social distancing should be observed in Post Lockdown period also, so it is requested that all the pending highway projects should be completed on the war footage so that once the lockdown in over, the people should use their own vehicles rather than the public transport and observe the social distancing.
Gadkari said that the suggested points are very valid and will be put forward for immediate solution. He said that the decision on the definition of MSMEs have been taken and the new definition will be notified with a period of a week or so. Further, he said that the Prime Minister & the Finance Minister are working on creating a special package for the industry, and same shall be notified soon.