Auto companies have shut down in India and elsewhere due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Indian government has announced a lockdown as a preventive measure for 21 days. That the livelihood of the daily wage workers and that of the companies is at a huge economical risk here. It is estimated that the component sector is facing production loss of Rs 1,000 – 1,200 crore per day. While we heard about what SIAM and FADA have had to say before, now is the time for the component manufacturers body, ACMA to support its group. The Automotive Component Manufacturers Association (ACMA) says that over one lakh contractual employees working in the automotive companies have already received their March salary. Moreover, several component manufacturers have promised to extend medical aid to the employees. Few auto component companies are also running community kitchens, following the requisite social distancing, to ensure their contractual employees get regular food.
The need of the hour is face masks, ventilators and sanitisers. Component manufacturers, who form ACMA, are dipping deep into their CSR funds to import ventilators. ACMA is also forming a committee to evaluate if instead of auto components, for the time being, the facilities can be used to make essentials like masks or hand sanitisers. Government agencies are being contacted to better understand the requirements as well as standards needed.
ACMA is worried about the present situation and the future too. You see, the BS6 transition has played a huge effect with many manufacturers reporting stocks of BS4 vehicles in the inventory. Currently, many small component companies as well as manufacturers have no cash with them. The lockdown has ensured that the conditions worsen economically. With no certainty on when production will resume, it is going to be definitely tough. The governing body has requested for some grants and relaxation. These include levy charges relaxation for cargo import, extending moratorium on principal and interest payment, relaxation on borrowing as well as payment norms.
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