Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) constitute a very important sector in the country's all around economic growth as they contribute very significantly to the country's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the are in the forefront for the country's exports and play a very important role in providing employment opportunities. However the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) and the subsequent lockdown and its aftermath has placed the MSMEs in a very vulnerable situation and has thrown up a few challenges that the MSMEs have not seen so far.
With this background, World Trade Center (WTC) Goa organized a webinar titled "Challenges for MSMEs Post COVID-19" on the 27th of April, 2020 with the objective of having a deeper understanding of the challenges currently facing the MSMEs and to throw light on the available solutions that the MSMEs could take advantage of so that they could have some readymade solutions for resuming business operations in the immediate short run period on ending of the prevailing lockdown as brought about by COVID-19.
Mr. K Devaraj, Deputy Director, MSME Development Institute, in his address apprised the participant on the Government e-Marketplace (GeM) portal that would help the Government officers in making their procurement from the local MSMEs who have registered themselves on the portal. Mr. Devaraj also spoke on the Lean Manufacturing Scheme of that would help MSMEs to reduce "waste" in their manufacturing processes and thus help their business run more profitably. He spoke on the schemes that MSMEs could avail to supplement their marketing efforts as well as for technical up gradation. Mr. Devaraj also highlighted the Skill Development initiatives which would be of immense benefit to budding entrepreneurs to horn their entrepreneual skills to have greater success in their chosen field of business.
Dr. Jennifer Lewis e Kamat, Director, Kamat Infra Tech Private Limited, while speaking on the industry perspective highlighted that COVID -19 has made all of us be more aware of our health and has opened up opportunities in this field. Dr. Kamat further stated that growth and distribution of safe food, immunity boosting food and organic agriculture would open up new vistas of employment, encourage local manufacturing and could help the country be self reliant. However she pointed out that the tax breaks and tax incentives if offered by the Government would go a long way in mitigating the hardships that the MSMEs would be facing in the short term. Facilities Management, Food processing, Biotech products, personal hygiene products, cyber security and online education were some of the areas that would do well in the short run she opined.
Mr. Ashutosh Kumar, Chief Manger, State Bank of India(SBI), in his address said that SBI under the directives of the Reserve Bank of India is offering a three month moratorium on payment of all installments, however interest shall continue to accrue on the outstanding portion of the tem loan during the moratorium period. Mr. Kumar said that the bank has introduced a COVID-19 Emergency Credit Line (CECL) by way of a standby line of credit (SLC) of 12 month tenure and MSMEs could avail of this loan for their immediate requirements. While speaking of the other schemes that the bank has to offer, Mr. Kumar encouraged the MSMEs present, that even though the present situation seems overwhelming there will be rewards for those who will tide over and survive this situation.
Mr. Cyril Desouza, Assistant Director - Trade Promotion in his vote of thanks apprised all the participants of the efforts that the World Trade Center Goa is taking in helping the MSME sector during this trying times on account of COVID -19 and he offered all help and assistance to the MSMEs for promoting their products and services across the globe through the World Trade Centers' Network of almost 330 World Trade Centers present in close to 100 countries across the Globe.