MSMEs seek separate e-pass for industries

The State government should issue separate, one-time e-pass to industries, according to the Joint Council of Associations of Coimbatore.

R. Ramamurthy, president of the Coimbatore District Small Industries Association, which is part of the council, told presspersons here on Friday that industries were unable to bring workers from other States or districts. A few industries have arranged vehicles for the workers to return. Workers who come from nearby districts to MSMEs in Coimbatore were finding it difficult to return home.

“Industries face 40 % to 50 % worker shortage. There is an increasing demand for two-wheelers and industries supplying to the automobile sector have orders. We can increase the output only when we get people and money,” said J. Ganesh Kumar, chairman of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Coimbatore Zone.

The Micro, Small and Medium-scale Enterprises (MSMEs) in Coimbatore district demand a system where the units get a one-time e-pass, which they can use for workers and maintenance employees. The industries can track where the workers and employees travel with it, the heads of the industrial associations that are part of the council said here on Friday. “We guarantee that the e-passes will not be misused,” Mr. Ramamurthy said.

Special trains

They added that the Central and State governments should operate special trains for migrant workers to return to their workplaces. The workers are ready to come back. The district administration should provide separate facilities where these workers can be quarantined when they return.

In foundries, migrant workers constitute 80 % of the workforce.

“There are export orders. If we do not supply those orders, we will lose to countries such as China and Brazil,” said Balraj, chairman of the Institute of Indian Foundrymen, Coimbatore.

The industry associations also sought extension of moratorium to repay loans. The government should extend the time given to repay loans till the end of this financial year. The accrued interest for this period should be converted into term loan and the industries should get two-year time to repay that loan, they said.

“It was found in a survey that 70 % MSMEs need working capital support. The industries want to operate. So, they should get additional funds. If the moratorium is not extended, the crisis the MSMEs faced will worsen,” said Mr. Ramamurthy.

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