The COVID-19 epidemic has temporarily affected various sectors including Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the country. Economic activity contracted due to the strict lockdown measures imposed by the Government. This contraction has also had impact on the MSME sector.
Comprehensive information on COVID’s impact on small businesses was given by Union Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, Shri Narayan Rane in a written reply in Lok Sabha.
Studies have been conducted by National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC) and Khadi and Village Industries Commission (KVIC) to assess the impact of COVID-19 Pandemic on MSMEs including units set up under Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP).
The main findings of the online study conducted by NSIC to understand the operational capabilities and difficulties faced by the beneficiaries of NSIC schemes amid Covid-19 pandemic are as follows:
- 91% MSMEs were found to be functional.
- Five most critical problems faced by MSMEs were identified as Liquidity (55% units), Fresh Orders (17% units), Labour (9% units), Logistics (12% units) and availability of Raw Material (8% units.)
The findings of the study conducted by KVIC are as under:
i. 88% of the beneficiaries of PMEGP scheme reported that they were negatively affected due to Covid-19 while the remaining 12% stated that they were benefitted during Covid-19 Pandemic.
ii. Among the 88% who were affected, 57% stated that their units were shut down for some time during this period, while 30% reported drop in production and revenue.
iii. Among the 12% who had benefitted, 65% stated that their business increased as they had units in retail and health sector and around 25% stated that their units benefitted as they were dealing with essential commodities or services.
iv. On the question of regular payment of salaries to the employees, around 46.60% respondents stated that they had paid the salaries in full, 42.54% reported to have partially paid and 10.86% reported to have not paid salary for some time during this period.
v. Majority of the beneficiaries expressed the need for additional financial support, relaxation of waiver of interest and marketing support for their products.
The Ministry of MSME implements various schemes and programmes for the growth and development of MSME Sector in the country. These schemes and programmes include Prime Minister’s Employment Generation Programme (PMEGP), Scheme of Fund for Regeneration of Traditional Industries (SFURTI), A Scheme for Promoting Innovation, Rural Industry & Entrepreneurship (ASPIRE), Interest Subvention Scheme for Incremental Credit to MSMEs, Credit Guarantee Scheme for Micro and Small Enterprises, Micro and Small Enterprises Cluster Development Programme (MSE-CDP), Credit Linked Capital Subsidy and Technology Upgradation Scheme (CLCS-TUS).
Post Covid-19, Government has taken a number of initiatives under Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan to support the MSME Sector in the country especially in Covid-19 pandemic. Some of them are:
i) Rs 20,000 crore Subordinate Debt for MSMEs.
ii) Rs. 3 lakh crores Collateral free Automatic Loans for business, including MSMEs.
iii) Rs. 50,000 crore equity infusion through MSME Fund of Funds.
iv) New revised criteria for classification of MSMEs.
v) New Registration of MSMEs through ‘Udyam Registration’ for Ease of Doing Business.
vi) No global tenders for procurement up to Rs. 200 crores, this will help MSME.
An online Portal “Champions” has been launched on 01.06.2020 by Hon’ble Prime Minister. This covers many aspects of e-governance including grievance redressal and handholding of MSMEs. Through the portal, total 35,983 grievances have been redressed upto 25.07.2021.