The Apparel Export Promotion Council (AEPC) on Thursday urged the government to keep only the investment criterion of Rs 50 crore irrespective of the manufacturing unit's turnover to define micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) in the export sector.
In a letter to MSME Minister Nitin Gadkari, AEPC Chairman A Sakthivel said that as the exporters' turnover depends upon the foreign exchange rates and since rupee value has continuously weakened for the past 10 years, it would be appropriate to keep just the investment criterion and remove the turnover parameter.
Unveiling the contours of the Rs 20-lakh crore stimulus package, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman last week announced a change in the definition of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
As per the revised definition, any firm with investment of up to Rs 1 crore and turnover under Rs 5 crore is classified as "micro". A company with investment up to Rs 10 crore and turnover up to Rs 50 crore will be classified as "small" and a firm with investment up to Rs 20 crore and turnover under Rs 100 crore will be classified as "medium".
"The apparel exporting industry would recommend keeping only the investment criterion of Rs 50 crore irrespective of the turnover, as was the provision earlier," Sakthivel said.
However, he added that in case the criteria of turnover is needed, its limit should be raised to Rs 300 crore.
Highlighting the importance of the industry in terms of its contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), exports, investment and employment, Sakthivel said the sector, largely consisting of MSMEs, is providing jobs to 12.9 million workers directly, in which about 70 per cent of the workforce are women.
"The thrust on the benefits to the MSME sector would definitely go a long way in helping the industry mitigate the present huge crisis and I am positive that these measures will help in mitigating the suffering of the apparel exporting industry and the millions of our workers," he added.
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