Coimbatore

Over 50,000 small units stop production

Heads of several industrial associations in Coimbatore submitted a memorandum to District Collector K. Rajamani on Tuesday demanding support to the units.

Heads of several industrial associations in Coimbatore submitted a memorandum to District Collector K. Rajamani on Tuesday demanding support to the units.   | Photo Credit: S_SIVA SARAVANAN

Nearly 50,000 micro, small and medium-scale enterprises (MSMEs) in Coimbatore, employing over five lakh workers, have stopped operations since Tuesday evening.

A couple of large-scale industries here declared on Monday that they were stopping production at its plants in the district.

Heads of 14 industrial associations met the District Collector K. Rajamani here on Tuesday and based on his appeal, decided to shutdown during the lock down period.

Though industries can operate with 50 % workforce, considering the safety of the district, which is one of the those with COVID-19 cases, the Collector urged the industries to down shutters, said J. James, president of Tamil Nadu Association of Cottage and Tiny Enterprises. The micro units started closing since Tuesday afternoon. Many workers have left for their homes in nearby towns, taking an advance amount with them, he said.

Workers who wanted to leave for their hometown have left and for those who are staying back, arrangements have been made for their food. Those who left have been paid advance money, according to president of Coimbatore Tiruppur District Micro and Tiny Enterprises Association president C. Sivakumar. “Our members will keep the units closed. If there are non-member units that still operate and it comes to our notice, we will advise them to shut shop,” he said.

At the SIDCO Industrial Estate at Kurichi, units that want to can stop voluntarily. However, there are issues such as raw material availability and cannot sell the materials. Some units may operate for one or two days, says P. Nallathambi, president of Coimbatore SIDCO Industrial Estate Manufacturers Welfare Association.

President of Coimbatore District Small Industries Association R. Ramamurthy said the delegation pointed out to the Collector that the units cannot pay the interest for bank loans during the lock down period. “The Collector has asked the District Lead Manager to write to the banks in this regard,” he said.

Some of the demands of the industry here are: banks should not have any transaction during the lock down period, when the industries will be shut down, Governments should support the MSMEs in paying wages to the workers during this period, financial institutions should extend ad hoc additional 25 % working capital, banks should not declare any MSME account as NPA till March next year, local bodies should help disinfect the MSMEs, and the minimum demand and average electricity charges should be waived off.

Mr. Ramamurthy added that he has written to all the banks requesting that interest amount for working capital and term loans should be postponed till end of June. “No interest should be charged for working capital, term loans and EMIs on March 31, 2020,” the Association said.

eom/msp

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Printable version | Jun 6, 2020 10:06:07 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Coimbatore/with-photocovid-19-industries-stop-production/article31156820.ece

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