homevideos Newseconomy NewsExclusive: Govt owes 'big amount' to MSMEs, crisis might be blessing in disguise, says Nitin Gadkari
videos | May 4, 2020 7:40 PM IST

Exclusive: Govt owes 'big amount' to MSMEs, crisis might be blessing in disguise, says Nitin Gadkari

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Shereen Bhan caught up with the minister for MSMEs and Road & Transport, Nitin Gadkari, to help understand how smaller businesses were coping with the stress due to COVID-19 induced lockdown

India has over six crore small businesses that employ more than 12 crore people. This sector has been among the hardest-hit by the coronavirus pandemic and the lockdown. The micro, small and medium enterprises or the MSME sector contributes nearly 30 percent to the country's GDP and is now struggling for survival.

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Clearly, the situation is dire. What can the government do? Shereen Bhan caught up with the minister for MSMEs and Road & Transport, Nitin Gadkari, to help understand the issues in-depth.
The minister said that the pandemic might be a blessing in disguise and India is working to capitalise on this to woo companies away from China. However, he tempered expectations on a relief package saying that one must realize that states and Centre are also struggling with falling revenues.
Gadkari further said that the MSME ministry has been engaging with the Finance Ministry and state governments to release dues payable to these smaller businesses. He refused to divulge a number but said that it is a big amount that will be crucial for the sector's survival.
A survey conducted by LocalCircles in mid-April showed that over 60 percent of small businesses and startups expect to scale down operations over the next 6 months. 13 percent said they will simply shut down and 7 percent said they will sell their business. Essentially, over 80 percent of SMEs say they will either have to shut down, sell-off, or scale down operations in the near-term.
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