Covid-19: Goyal hears out industry representatives, says FinMin will take 'balanced, nuanced approach' to issues

Union Minister Piyush Goyal on Thursday told trade and industry representatives that all their issues and feedback are being forwarded to the finance ministry, which he says will take a "balanced and nuanced approach" to their problems in view of coronavirus situation.

The Commerce and Industry Minister interacted with several industry and trade associations through video conferencing to assess the ground situation and problems being faced by them in the wake of Covid-19 and subsequent lockdown.

On demand from certain participants for early announcement of the relief package for the industry, the minister said "feedback received is being forwarded to the finance ministry for consideration, which is likely to take a balanced, nuanced approach".

Goyal said that his ministry is working to solve the logistics and export-import related problems and also taking up other concerns of the industry and traders with various ministries.

Industry associations raised several issues such as liquidity crunch, orders cancellation, labour scarcity, different interpretation of the central government's orders by the state and district authorities, stranded trucks and difficulties in getting spare parts.

At the same time, they informed that the situation has improved considerably in last fortnight "so much so that IT industry has been able to cover up to 95 per cent of the ground", an official statement said.

The minister said that the labour, which had migrated recently, will return after the COVID cases started declining.

Further, the minister said the decision to end lockdown will be taken at an appropriate time, after making due assessment.

He drew their attention to certain states planning extension of the lockdown.

Goyal called upon the industry to have a calibrated and rational approach to the problem, by evolving protocols and procedures, which will help them in improving their productivity and efficiency, without compromising on the health security of their employees and other stakeholders.

"I think we should start talking more practical instead of making wish-lists," he added.

The meeting was attended by office bearers of CII, FICCI, ASSOCHAM, Laghu Udyog Bharati, FISME, NASSCOM, PHD Chamber of Commerce and SIAM, ACMA, IMTMA, IEEMA, CAIT and FAME.