MSMEs urge FM to reign in profiteering during pandemic by producers of ferrous, non-ferrous metals & polymers
New Delhi, Apr 29 (KNN) When the Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman reached out to the industry including MSMEs to seek their inputs on the on-going COVID crisis the last two weeks so, she would have expected a clamour for more funds like ECLGGS scheme. The demand emerging fr0m the MSME sector has surprised many.
Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) the umbrella body of MSME associations was one such organization Finance Minister reached out to. In a communication dated 27th April 2021 to the FM, FISME has raised three issues none of which asks for financial support.
FISME highlighted the unabashed profiteering indulged in by all major raw material producers such as of iron and steel, copper, aluminium & polymers during pandemic who have increased prices on a weekly basis during the last six months.
FISME sought establishing a ‘war-room’ consisting of secretaries of key economic ministries, to closely monitor price movement of select commodities and any anti-competitive behaviour must be referred to CCI.
Further, it has advocated complete abolishing of duties on these raw materials including safeguard duties, anti-dumping duties, minimum floor prices (wherever applicable).
“Let them face the discipline of imports with full force”, notes the communication.
Secondly, FISME has sought flexibility in assigning NPAs in MSMEs.
According to FISME, “The Special Mention Account (SMA) framework was devised for normal times but now the payment cycles are longer and markets are disrupted. Banking cannot be just excel-sheet based; the system ought to provide much needed flexibility to the banker so that these facts could be factored in. There is an urgent need to revise the norms for Covid years”,
Finally, the MSME body urged the Government to set-up an omnibus legislation providing protection fr0m prosecution and penalties due to con-compliance during the pandemic upto 31st March 2022.