Coronavirus: MSMEs seek Goa govt's help in tiding over crisis

Panaji, Apr 26 (PTI) Hit hard by the coronavirus- enforced lockdown, small industries in Goa have requested the state government to buy their products on a priority basis to help them sustain the economic crisis.

Operations of about 2500 Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have been affected due to the national lockdown which has completed more than 30 days and remains in force till May 3.

'We have made several recommendations to the state government to mitigate the economic crisis, and one of them is to make purchases from us on a priority basis,' Goa Small Industries Association (GSIA) president Damodar Kochrekar said on Sunday.

He said MSMEs will face the pinch as they will have to pay salaries of employees and debts to their lenders.

'Lending institutions will also have to be sensitised so that they don't pressurise entrepreneurs,' he said, adding that payments from various vendors are also pending.

Meanwhile, Kewal Kapoor, Director of consultancy firm Chai Kreative, said the COVID pandemic has hit startups hard like the global economic crisis of 2008.

'About 19 per cent to 43 per cent of MSMEs disappeared due to the lockdown. Many have changed their business models to survive. Many of us have been forced to give up our physical office space and have transitioned to digital space because approximately 7.5 per cent of our total revenue used to go towards paying the rent,' he said.

Manguirish Pai Raikar, Chairman, National Council for MSME of ASSOCHAM, said they would need restructuring of finances to cope with the crisis.

'There has to be a strategic planning and proper management for MSMEs when the lockdown is lifted,' he said.

Raikar said that money of many MSMEs was stuck and that it looks a distant dream that they will get it back anytime soon.

'While our businesses are closed but we have to pay interest on loans to banks, pay salaries as well as taxes like GST, TDS, utility bills. We also have to pay suppliers of raw materials. A strategic planning and proper management is needed when the lockdown is lifted,' he added. PTI RPS NSK NSK