Covid-19: Govt knocks MSMEs’ door to ensure supply of masks, ventilators, other medical equipments

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Updated: April 2, 2020 8:21:29 PM

Trade, Imports, Exports for MSMEs: The decision comes amid the reported shortage of masks and ventilators India is grappling with even as the number of Coronavirus cases is gradually increasing.

MSME Ministry has issued a list of 39 medical supplies and 61 auxiliary items.

Trade, Imports, Exports for MSMEs: In order to bolster the fight against Coronavirus, the government is looking at enhancing engagement with MSMEs in India. In a notification issued recently, the MSME Ministry has urged MSMEs in manufacturing or supply of medical and related equipment to register as a supplier on the government’s e-commerce portal GeM. The ministry “would like to reach out to you, if you are in the field of manufacturing or supply of following items related to use in COVID-19 (Coronavirus),” it said in the notification detailing the list of 39 medical supplies such as ventilators, N95 masks, disposable thermometers, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, protective gowns etc. It also listed 61 auxiliary items such as soap, chairs, tables, bedsheets, computers, extension boards and more manufactured or supplied by MSMEs to get on-board GeM.

“Purpose of GeM is to help MSMEs, which were unable to reach PSU and government departments, get access to them and showcase their products. Also, government buyers are required to procure 25 per cent of their annual procurement of goods and services from micro and small enterprises. This is supposed to work hand-in-hand with Trade Receivables Discounting System (TReDS) which we see evolving for MSE to encash their invoices that helps in taking care of the working capital,” Saikat Roy, Director, CARE Ratings told Financial Express Online. The decision comes amid the reported shortage of masks and ventilators India is grappling with even as the number of Coronavirus cases is gradually increasing.

Also read: Coronavirus-hit MSMEs urge government to clear all pending dues within these many days

The decision comes amid the reported shortage of masks ventilators that the country is grappling with even as the number of Coronavirus cases is gradually increasing. According to media reports, India is looking to get ventilators and masks from China as improving local production will take time. Recently Chinese multinational company Fosun had donated 5,000 masks. However, to leverage production from MSMEs, “there has to be a mechanism by the government to reach to MSME clusters which will preferably be easily accessible through various industry associations. If you get association involved, you can reach MSMEs in bulk,” said Roy.

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