Government pushes MSMEs to produce PPEs, sanitisers for exportGovernment pushes MSMEs to produce PPEs, sanitisers for export:


• Government pushes MSMEs for producing coronavirus related items such as sanitiser and PPE kits for export
• MSME Ministry to take up industry demand to extend moratorium on all loans for another 3-6 months
• Guidelines for Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free loans to MSMEs announced by FM Nirmala Sitharaman last week would be finalised in 1-2 days

The government has asked micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to produce medical devices, especially COVID-19 related items for exports as there is a readymade export market available.

Speaking at a webinar organised by SME Chamber of India, MSME Secretary AK Sharma said that government was willing to help those who come forward and start manufacturing of these items.

"Today there is a readymade market available to us. It is waiting for us. Medical equipment and COVID related medical items like sanitisers, PPE kits, masks and there are so many other items. As you would be aware that government has lifted curbs on export of masks. So, from this point of view we don't need to go anywhere as the platform is ready for all of you. We just need to produce them and supply," the MSME Secretary said.

Sharma emphasised that there was a specific query for pipes of santiser bottle as it is being imported from China and hence need to be produced locally.

He also told participants that guidelines for the Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free loans for MSME sector would be finalised in the next 1-2 days by the Department of Financial Services (DFS) under Ministry of Finance.

On demands by various small firms to extend the moratorium on loan repayment for another 3-6 months, Sharma said that the issue would need to be taken up with the Finance Ministry.

"Perhaps, you and me will have to take this up with the government separately. You write to us and also write to Ministry of Finance. Let's see what stand they take," the MSME Secretary said.

In the wake of crisis faced by industry and individuals due to coronavirus-afflicted lockdown, the RBI had on March 27 allowed banks and financial institutions to offer a 3-month moratorium on all term loans. Since the lockdown has been extended till May 31, industry has demanded extension of the moratorium at least for another three months.

They have contended that RBI had directed banks to offer 3-month moratorium when the lockdown had been imposed for 21 days but now the lockdown has been in place for more than two months so the repayment relief should also be extended.

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