Industry and trade welcome lockdown relaxations in Coimbatore

The Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) here have welcomed the government decision to relax the lockdown restrictions and permit industries in the district to operate from next week. However, it should support the industries by relaxing the norms further and extending support, the MSME associations said.

J. James, president of Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises, said while the State government had permitted industries to reopen from Monday, the restriction on the number of workers would only add to the problems faced by the industries. Only about 50 % of the workforce was with the industries now. The government was permitting only 33 % workers to attend the units. This would lead to “unnecessary problems” when officials visit the industries for inspection. Hence, the government should allow the units to function with the available workers, he said.

P. Nallathambi, president of Coimbatore SIDCO Industrial Estate Manufacturers’ Association, said the industries would not be able to withstand further extension of lockdown. Spread of COVID-19 among industrial workers was not high this time. The government should allow the units to operate with 50 % workforce, he said. Last year, when the industries stopped production because of the lockdown, the government gave moratorium to repay loans. This year, there was no such support, he said.

M.V. Ramesh Babu, president of Coimbatore District Small Industries Association, said the Union government should relax the Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme norms. It should extend the scheme to all MSMEs without any condition and the scheme should be extended to MSMEs based on their working capital, cash credit limits too, he said. The government should allow the MSMEs to operate without any restriction on workforce, he added.

C. Balasubramanian, president of the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore, said the Chamber welcomed the announcement on reopening of shops in the district next week. The State government has allowed shops to be open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and export units to work with 100 % workforce. It has also permitted sweet shops to function with only parcel service. Since the COVID-19 cases were reducing in the district, the government should allow big textile shops, malls and temples too to reopen, he said.

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