Restrictions on movement fine, but not total lockdown: TN MSME units

Even as the coronavirus infection rate is climbing rapidly in Tamil Nadu, the government can look at restricting movement of people for certain number hours without shutting down the industries and others, said industrialists.

They also said the central government should waive off the bank interest so that the units which are recovering from last year’s lockdown can now stablise.

“With the learnings from last year’s lockdown, all industrial units are following the Covid-19 safety protocols. So one can say that corona spread is not from the industrial units,” Dr.V.S.V. Verchezhian, President, Chennai Chapter of Laghu Udyog Bharati (LUB) told IANS.

He said the government can allow movement of people for a limited period of time in a day, say morning three hours and evening three hours so that workers/employees can reach their place of work in the morning and reach back home in the evening.

Industrialists told IANS that another round of total lockdown will cripple them and also the economy.

The industrialists also said lessons have been learnt in managing the migrant workers from last year’s lockdown.

“We are having regular dialogue with the migrant workers and assuring them that the situation will not be like last year. Further they are being assured that their basic needs will be taken care,” D.Srinivasan, Managing Director, Bascet Engineering India Pvt Ltd told IANS.

The Coimbatore based Bascet Engineering caters to the construction sector with products like wooden window fittings, hardware parts for doors and others.

Srinivasan said Karnataka model is better as the units that are not oxygen dependent are allowed to function. Similarly, the Karnataka government has allowed construction and infrastructure sectors to carry on their activities.

“All industry owners are taking care of their worker’s safety against coronavirus. It is only the daily wage migrant workers who are going back to their home state and not those employed by the industrial units,” Verchezhian said.

Queried about banks’ attitude towards lending against credit guarantee, Verchezhian said it differs from bank to bank.

Demanding delinking of medium units from micro, small and tiny units, TANSTIA past President V.S. Narasimhan told IANS: “Banks should be made to lend against credit guarantee rather than collaterals. The government should also infuse additional capital into the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation so that banks have the confidence to loan, based on the credit guarantee.”

“Already 40 per cent of our member units are sick for want of working capital and raw material. Further the increase in raw material prices have hit the units hard,” Tamil Nadu Small and Tiny Industries Association (TANSTIA) President S. Anburajan told IANS.

He said many units supply the products to public sector units (PSU) and government utilities and are penalised for delayed supplies.

“We would like the PSUs not to penalise their small sized vendors for delay in supplies during the pandemic period. There should be a moratorium for loans and interest could be waived for the small units,” Anburajan added.