Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday took a swipe at the government over the issue of shutting down of MSMEs during the Covid pandemic, saying it means “benefit” to friends and no employment opportunities in a weak economy. The government, he said, has admitted in Parliament that nine percent Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have shut down during the pandemic.
“I had asked some serious questions about the MSMEs from the government and in response to them they have admitted that nine percent MSMEs have closed down during Covid times. “Meaning benefit to friends, weak economy and end to employment, Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. He also shared the written reply of the government in response to his question in the Lok Sabha on Thursday. “National Small Industries Corporation Limited has conducted an on-line survey in August 2020, covering around 5,774 MSMES in 32 States/UTs to assess the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on MSMES. It was found in the said survey that 91 percent MSMES were functional and nine percent MSMES had closed down due to the impact of COVID-19,” the government said in its written response to Gandhi’s question.
It also said the Reserve Bank of India has informed that state-wise data on NPA in MSME sector is not available with them. “The National Crime Records Bureau has informed that as per published reports, a total of 9,052 self employed persons (Business) committed suicide in the year 2019 and a total of 11,716 self employed persons (Business) committed suicide in the year 2020. The Bureau does not categorise the suicide data by MSME business owners and entrepreneurs separately,” the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises Narayan Rane said in his written reply to Gandhi’s question.