NEW DELHI: Congress president Sonia Gandhi on Saturday urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to announce a ₹1 trillion wage protection package for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) as the sector needs immediate attention.
In a letter to the prime minister, Gandhi listed five suggestions, including the financial package and said “11 crore employees…are at risk of losing their jobs as MSMEs struggle to pay their wages and salaries. The government needs to introduce a series of measures to meet this crisis head on or risk a much large economic crisis down the road.”
Congress has been highlighting this issue for nearly a fortnight now. The party’s 11 member consultative committee headed by former prime minister Manmohan Singh too had discussed the issue earlier this week in detail.
“Actions taken by Reserve Bank of India (RBI) must get reflected in actions by commercial banks to ensure adequate, easy and timely credit supply to MSMEs. Furthermore, any monetary action at the RBIs end must be supported by sound fiscal support from the government,” she added.
She has also suggested considering expansion and extension of the RBI’s moratorium on payment of loans for MSME beyond the stipulated period of three months.
In the past one month, ever since lockdown was called to control the spread of covid-19 pandemic, Gandhi has written four letters to Modi to draw the government’s attention towards plight of migrants, farmers, daily wagers, small and medium scale enterprises among others, while making key suggestions.