The Confederation of SIDCO Industrial Associations, which represent MSMEs in and around Chennai, have raised concerns about the inequitable way in which industries have been permitted to resume functioning from May 7.
These associations represent MSMEs located in industrial estates within Chennai and on the outskirts of the city. The combined annual turnover of these set-ups is about Rs 26,250 crore. These enterprises have alleged that they have not been granted permission to open, with officials citing increased cases of Covid-19 infections, the Confederation said. It added that this could lead to large manufacturing companies seeking to shift moulds and dies from units in these industrial estates to others that are open for operations.
"When the Government permits large companies like Hyundai, Ashok Leyland and Nissan Renault to resume operations while denying permissions to tier-II and tier-III units, it creates anxiety in the minds of these entrepreneurs who look to resume operations at the earliest given their losses of last two months“ said A N Sujeesh, President, Ambattur Industrial Estate Manufacturers' Association. He claimed that units in the industrial estates in Ambattur, Thirumazhisai, Thirumudivakkam, Thirumullaivoyal, Kakkalur, Guindy, Perungudi, and Villivakkam bore the brunt of permission denial.
Sujeesh said delayed resumption of operations will force these units not to pay salaries for April 2020, and which negatively impact MSME clusters in this part of Tamil Nadu.
“With OEMs gearing up to resume operations, there is a real possibility that orders placed on us will be taken away amd given to units in other functional clusters. This will lead to loss of orders and difficulty in retaining existing clients,” added Sujeesh.
Moreover, the migrant labour workforce housed in the estate units has been waiting to restart work. Therefore, an ill-advised extension of this lockdown period could lead to a law and order problem.
The Confederation said that in accordance with the Central Government’s guidelines, MSMEs within Industrial Estates must be allowed to operate with 50 per cent labour, if they comply with the minimum stipulated SOPs on access control measures as laid down by the Central Government.
A simple set of SOPs should be framed for MSMEs. It should include one-time passes for workmen/employees in other districts to travel and re-join work, the confederation said, It also wanted ESIC Doctors posted in industrial estates to certify workmen.