Ease of Doing Business for MSMEs: Traders’ body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT), which represents around 7 crore small traders in the country, has urged the government for a stimulus package for traders affected by Covid-19. In a written communication to Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, CAIT sought a Covid Cash Loan programme, insurance cover to traders and their employees engaged in the supply of essential goods, and subsidy in paying salary and wages to the workers. Stressing on the urgent need to mitigate the liquidity challenges faced by traders, the body requested the government to increase the capping of Mudra loans from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 25 lakh, waive off interest for three months from April on Bank Load, CC and OD limits, and strengthen NBFCs and MFIs to provide more loans to traders on the minimal rate of interest.
CAIT along with other associations representing MSMEs, small retailers, and more have been making representations to the government in the past few days seeking relief for micro, small and mid-sized businesses in the country across sectors. Earlier on Thursday, MSME body FISME in a video conference with Piyush Goyal and other industry associations had underscored issues including employee salaries, fixed charges on electricity and bank loan EMIs hurting MSMEs most.
On Tuesday, retail trade body Retailers Association of India had small retailers are likely to lay off 30 per cent of their employee strength ahead while medium retailers are expected to cut 12 per cent of their manpower, based on a survey 768 retailers, as Covid-19 has crippled the operations of retail industry.
Small and medium businesses, which constitute 19.3 per cent of the total bank loan, in order to tide over the current crisis, are expected to draw more from their sanctioned working capital limits for few months ahead, SBI said in its latest ecowrap report on Wednesday. “but it will be difficult for them if it (situation) persists for long,” the report said. Total gross bank credit as of February-end was Rs 89.8 lakh crore out of which Rs 10.95 lakh crore was deployed in micro and small enterprises – 6.7 per cent up from same period last year, as per the RBI data.