MSMEs Could Soon Start Operations Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

MSMEs Could Soon Start Operations Amid COVID-19 Outbreak

Indian MSMEs minister Nitin Gadkari is pushing for small manufacturing units to soon start operations in areas that aren’t ruled as COVID-19 hotspots. The Government is also trying to bring back migrant workers to aid production.

MSME owners to take the onus for resuming operations

Gadkari recommended manufacturing MSMEs should resume work in unaffected areas given the owners take care of the workers’ health and sanitation. The companies should strictly follow social distancing and sanitization norms.

“Work should begin where possible while keeping the virus at bay,” the minister was quoted by The Hindu.

“There are nearly 20 lakh migrant workers in government-run camps, many are stuck midway. We have to bring them back and district collectors will have to give permission for that. We are working to remove bottlenecks with the help of state governments; but the factory owners will have to ensure that workers are looked after,” Nitin Gadkari told The Hindustan Times.

Companies that are involved in manufacturing masks, medical equipment, etc are being encouraged to get their operations up and running to meet the growing demand. Gadkari also advised MSME technology centers to collaborate with experts and facilitate ventilators and COVID testing kits production in bulk.

A ₹10,000 crore ‘fund of funds’ for MSMEs

Up until March 2020, about 600,000 MSMEs in India got restructured by the Government to cope financially. The MSME minister hopes the number will exceed 800,000 – 1 million units in the coming months.

Nitin Gadkari also stated that a ₹10,000 crore fund has been proposed for the MSMEs so these businesses can get loans. This also allows the government to pick up stakes in the SMEs while helping these businesses enhance their manufacturing abilities.

What’s more? This can help India reduce its import dependence on China drastically!

What does this mean for MSMEs in the service industry?

Small businesses in the service sector will probably not be allowed to resume operations yet. The Government is only allowing essentials and MSMEs in the vital equipment sector to start production and help revive the economy slowly.

Instamojo’s recommendations for MSMEs in India:

If you are in the service industry, now would be a good time to take on digital expansion of your business. Take your business online and use this time to build your brand.

Here are some examples of how businesses are beating the COVID-19 lull:

  • Coffee shops are allowing customers to buy vouchers that they can redeem in the future. This way the cash keeps flowing and the business are paying off utility costs
  • Small clothing businesses are using this time to run digital ads to local target groups to boost branding. The idea is to get people to flock these stores once the lockdown is over
  • Artists/teachers are offering courses, podcasts, music, collaborations etc online to keep the audience engaged while also educating them about their brand
  • Startups are working remotely online to keep their operations intact
  • NGOs are running remote donation campaigns to help COVID-19 affected segments in any way possible

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