Sonia writes to PM, wants Rs 1 lakh cr wage protection package for MSMEs

Ghughuti Bulletin

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/sonia-writes-to-pm-wants-rs-1-lakh-cr-wage-protection-package-for-msmes/articleshow/75384846.cms

NEW DELHI: In a raft of suggestions to revive the MSME sector after the corona
lockdown,
Congress president
Sonia Gandhi Saturday asked Prime Minister
Narendra Modi to announce a Rs 1 lakh crore “MSME wage protection” package and a Rs 1 lakh crore credit guarantee fund.

She said these crucial measures would help in creating jobs and boost morale during the economic spiral triggered by the pandemic.

In a letter to Modi, the Congress chief warned that if economic concerns like the paralysis in the sector that employs 11 crore people were ignored, it will have an intense ripple effect which would cripple the national economy.

Sonia said the credit guarantee fund will ensure immediate liquidity for MSME units which would need capital the most after lockdown.

“MSMEs contribute close to one third of the nation’s GDP and account for almost 50% of our exports. They employ over 11 crore people. At this moment, without appropriate support, more than 6.3 crore MSMEs stand on the verge of economic ruin,” she wrote to Modi, adding that every day of the lockdown cost Rs 30,000 crore to these units which have come to a complete halt.

“The 11 crore employees in MSMEs are at the risk of losing their jobs,” she wrote.

Sonia’s letter of suggestions resulted from deliberations by an AICC consultative group comprising senior party leaders including former PM
Manmohan Singh.

The Congress leader wrote to the PM that government must ensure that RBI’s decisions were immediately acted upon by commercial banks to ensure easy credit to MSMEs, which would also require sound fiscal support from the Centre. She also sought an expansion of RBI’s moratorium on payment of loans to MSMEs beyond the present three-month period as also an interest subvention for them.
Sonia Gandhi asked the government to address the issue of “high collateral security” which was denying credit to MSMEs.

“A 24×7 helpline in the ministry to assist the MSMEs during this period would also be of enormous value,” she added.

Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesman
Kapil Sibal demanded that judiciary should evolve a policy to ensure that justice delivery system was declared an “essential service” during crisis like the corona pandemic.

He also slammed the Centre for not creating a “national plan” to deal with corona crisis as mandated by the Disaster Management Act and for delegating the responsibilities to state governments.

“Without necessary infrastructure and adequate financial resources, state governments are not in a position to effectively deal with this pandemic,” he said.

He urged the government to rethink on lockdown measures as the country cannot have the “lockdown of people and lockout of the economy”.

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