‘Government can insist on guidelines, but the units should start functioning’ -
June 05, 2021 Industries in the State are gearing up to resume operations on Monday, expecting the government to relax the lockdown restrictions.
Cost escalations Southern India Mills’ Association secretary general K. Selvaraju said textile units across the State are ready to re-open. “At least those units that have workers staying in-house should be permitted to operate. The government can insist on guidelines, but the units should start functioning. We cannot delay export orders for more than two weeks as it will result in cost escalations or even cancellation. We have represented to the government and are expecting a positive announcement,” he said.
In the case of foundries, which come under the continuous process category, some units had operated during the lockdown. “But there are challenges such as availability of raw materials. Most of the units did not function during these two weeks. The foundries employ guest workers in large numbers and if the workers remain idle, they will want to return to their home States. It will be difficult and expensive to bring them back,” said S. Balraj, Coimbatore chapter president of Indian Institute of Foundrymen.
‘Partial lockdown’ According to S. Anburajan, president of Tamilnadu Small and Tiny Industries Association, the local bodies take action on MSMEs if they operate without permission. The units already have financial problems and this becomes an additional burden. So, the units can operate only if the government permits them to. “We have asked for partial lockdown, with permission for the units to operate. Officials can inspect the units to ensure the SOPs are followed.” The MSMEs cannot organise for common transport facilities. Hence, the government should allow two-wheeler use with e-pass. The MSMEs have orders as they are vendors to exporting units and large companies. The micro and small units are hit by lockdown because they have to meet the fixed costs.
“The MSMEs are waiting to start operations as only then will there be flow of funds. We need to restart the entire business process. If the lockdown continues there will be severe fund crunch,” said M.V. Ramesh Babu, president of Coimbatore District Small Industries Association.