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The coronavirus has dealt a ‘great blow’ to the MSMEs sector: Nitin Gadkari

The minister declared that the country needs to prepare for a dual war, one against COVID-19 and the other on the front of the economy.

Union Minister Nitin Gadkari took stock of measures in favor of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) on Thursday and discussed the future course of action in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, which would be a “great blow” for the industry.

“During a conference, which was about quite two and a half hours, the union minister with other ministers took stock of the stages of the pandemic that has seriously affected the world.”

The measures previously announced by the Treasury and the RBI were discussed during the videoconference with the efforts of the MIPYME ministry to minimize the impact of COVID-19 on the MIPYME sector.

The minister said the country must prepare for a double war, one against COVID-19 and the other in the front line of the economy.

While welcoming the efforts of officials and training on the ground in the ministry, I stressed that all the prescribed precautionary measures in terms of disinfection, social distancing and PPE must always be followed.

He mentioned that due to COVID-19, the demand for medical items such as ventilators, PSA kits, masks, and disinfectants has suddenly increased over the past month and MSMEs have played an important role in filling the gap by increasing the production of these items.

He said that MSMEs involved in these activities should mainly be relieved. Gadkari noted that the ministry has seen the highest absolute use of funds in 2019-20 under various ministry plans. On behalf of the MSME technology centers (TC), it was reported that they were involved in the manufacture of disinfectants, masks, clothing, face protection, and hospital furniture.

The TCs reaffirmed their commitment to improve their in-house manufacturing and to assist MSMEs in the manufacture of these items.

The Minister stressed that this had to be done very quickly due to the general requirements of these elements.

He wanted TCs to work with experts and agencies with proven and approved technology to make corona test kits and ventilators, and to achieve mass production according to medical standards.

Gadkari also urged officials to do their utmost to support MSMEs by reviewing and expanding the systems after an independent third-party assessment. He asked his officials to contact all interested parties for coordinated assistance for MSMEs.


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