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Kerala CM Claims Centre Gave Nothing To Small Scale Industries; Demands Special Package

Kerala CM Vijayan on Thursday demanded a special financial package for small-scale industries and entrepreneurs claiming that Centre has given nothing to them

Kerala

Even as Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has announced stimulus package for MSMEs, migrant workers, street vendors, and is scheduled to announce more in the upcoming days, Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday demanded a special financial package for small-scale industries and entrepreneurs.

While briefing the media on the Coronavirus situation in his state, CM Vijayan said that the package announced by the Centre on Wednesday does not address the needs of the small-scale entrepreneurs. He also said such entrepreneurs had raised a few demands, including a one-year moratorium on existing loans and avoid interest during this period.

"In the package, only the demand of sanctioning of loans was considered, that too, at the mercy of the banks. Waiver of interest has not been considered during the moratorium period", he said. Further, he claimed that the package only has nominal spending from the Union government's budget. Urging banks and industries to come together, he said that the state government will try to intervene in order to benefit the entire economy.

READ | Centre announces 9 steps to benefit migrants, farmers, vendors in second economic tranche

The Kerala CM also said that the state government needs the help of the Centre to write off the charges of electricity of small-scale industries. In addition to that, workers in the small-scale sector need to be given financial aid, the chief minister said.

"The Union Finance Minister should discuss these issues with the state finance ministers and come up with a clear strategy to help the states continue their healthcare and social security activities," he said.

READ | Coronavirus Live Updates

Sitharaman's announcements

On Wednesday, Finance Minister Sitharaman unveiled the first set of measures for MSMEs which included Rs. 3 lakh crore collateral-free automatic loans for business, Rs. 20,000 crore subordinate debt, new definition of MSMEs, Rs. 2500 crore EPF support for business and workers for 3 more months, etc. She stated that PM Narendra Modi laid down the vision of Atmanirbhar India (self-reliant India) after deep consultation with several sections of the society. She also mentioned that the focus of the package is on the factors of production- land, labour, liquidity and others.

READ | Amit Shah lauds financial relief measures, says 'in line with Modi government's mantra'

On Thursday, announcing nine steps to aid migrant workers, street vendors, small farmers, self-employed people, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, rolled out free food grains, nationalised ration card, affordable rental housing for urban poor - all aimed at India's migrant population. She also extended several schemes for housing, street vendors and housing to provide relief till March 2021. 

READ | PM Modi talks to Bill Gates: India’s efforts on COVID, vaccine, technology discussed

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