TN: ‘Stop Aiding big Corporates, Revise GST,’ Demand MSMEs
Tamil Nadu MSME minister Anbarasan addressing the conference. Image courtesy: CITU, TN
A conference of various micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) associations held on March 5 in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, demanded the union and state governments safeguard the industries from stagnation and loss.
The ‘protect MSME’ conference demanded the Centre revise the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and reduce the burden on small-scale industries. It condemned the same tax limits for big corporates and MSMEs.
It asked for amendments in the MSME Act, 2006, such as creating a separate funding package for domestic small and medium enterprises. The conference urged the Centre to implement the U K Sinha Committee recommendations, and asked to ease bank loan requirements and facilitate technology research.
It demanded expansion in the domestic market by increasing the purchasing capacity and preventing stagnation of produced goods.
Around 1,000 people, MSME entrepreneurs and workers participated in the conference. Office bearers of 15 associations of industries - such as spinning mills, powerloom, compressor, coir, plantations, plumbing and others - highlighted their issues and placed their demands.
Coimbatore minister of parliament P R Natarajan gave the welcome address at the conference. Tamil Nadu MSME minister T M Anbarasan and Kerala industries minister P Rajeev addressed the gathering. Tamil Nadu CITU President A Soundararajan made the concluding remarks.
The conference criticised the Union government for being friendly towards big corporates and inconsiderate towards MSMEs.
“MSME industries have been severely affected by the policies of the Union government. The Modi government is keen on serving the big industrialists and corporate companies. As a result, the MSMEs that provide 92% of work in the country are pushed into crisis,” said Kamaraj in a conference propaganda video.
Ahead of the conference, in an article in the Theekkathir newspaper, CITU leader K Kanagaraj said MSMEs provide maximum employment, but since the BJP government came to power, the industries have been pushed to a crisis through demonetisation, GST and COVID-imposed lockdowns.
“In just the initial phase of GST implementation, 18% tax was levied on job orders for MSMEs. Whereas, in the last eight years, Rs 8 lakh crore loans were written off for big corporates. But lending to MSMEs by Indian banks is only 4%,” he said.
The conference noted industry-specific issues. “Various industries in Tiruppur -- textile, powerloom, vessels, poultry farms and others -- are in crisis, and more than eight lakh employees are facing the brunt of it,” said Kamaraj.
“The price of one candee of cotton rose from between Rs 35,000-45,000 to as much as Rs 1.05 lakh because the Union government withdrew procurement through Cotton Corporation of India (CCI) in October 2021. This has had an adverse effect on the industry, so CCI must continue procuring cotton,” he said.
Tamil Nadu is leading in coconut production, and the conference urged the state to improve production and boost allied industries.
Tamil Nadu is competing with Gujarat in pump set production, so the conference urged the state to facilitate the industry for better performance.
There are rubber, tea, coffee and other plantations in the state, but there is no welfare board overseeing them. Hence, the conference demanded the state to form a Directorate of Plantations.
Noting that the Tamil Nadu government has expanded the Nissan Motor Co. at a cost of Rs 3,330 crore for only 2,000 jobs, Kanagaraj stated that a small investment in MSME would provide more employment than investment in big companies.
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