Profiteering by producers of Steel, Cu, Al & Polymers reverberates in Commerce Minister meeting with industry
New Delhi, Jun 4 (KNN) The issue of unprecedented hike in prices of raw material during last one year dominated the review meeting called by Commerce and industry Minister Piyush Goyal on Tuesday.
While captains of industry representing large corporates such as CII, FICCI and ASSOCHAM crooned about their contribution during Covid by supplying Oxygen cylinders/ concentrators and creating hospital facilities, the representatives of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) raised series of problems their sector is grappling with.
“The biggest problem which has made large number of MSMEs unviable is unprecedented boom in prices of raw material chiefly Steel, Copper, Aluminium and plastic raw material”, quipped President of PHD Chamber of Commerce Sanjay Aggarwal.
“What is unfair is that the jump in the prices by domestic producers is largely because of high customs duties, anti-dumping and safeguard duties besides other non-tariff barriers and far exceeds the movement of prices internationally”, he added.
MSME associations have been questioning the rationale of trying to help MSMEs without addressing the main cause responsible for of their un-competitiveness that is profiteering by large scale producers.
V.K. Agarwal of Federation of Indian Micro and Small & Medium Enterprises (FISME) while endorsing the issue of raw material price hike and need to abolish all tariff and non-tariff based protection on them, stressed the need to put a structure around consultations such as the one held by the Minister.
“There is a need to institutionalize the consultations. Not only should they be regularized and enable two way communication but also leveraged through IT to make it accessible to larger number of MSMEs as they face great difficulties in reaching out to officers”, he said.
MSME representatives also asked the Government to replenish the ECLGS scheme as the amount of Rs. 3 lac crore allotted for it nears exhaustion.
“There is need to make the ECLGS more inclusive by expanding the eligibility criteria”, it was stressed.
Further, MSME associations were miffed with Central agencies and PSUs who still refuse to register and transact business at TReDS – the three electronic platforms created by RBI to facilitate bill discounting.