Various industry associations including industry chambers and those representing regional bodies, had a virtual meeting with commerce and industry minister Piyush Goyal in which they flagged concerns related to salaries, labour and liquidity, and sought structural reforms to be instituted at the earliest and a phase-wise exit from the lockdown.
“Fiscal space in the government’s hands should be directed at relief for the poor including migrant workers at the low-income grades and as much spending as possible for shoring up small enterprises,” said one industry source who participated in the meeting.
While associations representing small and medium enterprises said that many small units would close down by June as they are unable to pay salaries, those in the logistics space cited problems related to labour such as workers not returning and inability to find drivers to transport goods.
“Industry wants a fiscal package to generate demand but the government is keen on the post-Covid scenario, revival and how can India capitalise the existing situation to its benefit,” said another industry representative, adding that banks not passing the rate cut benefits to industry also came up in the meeting.
As per another industry source, with work from home becoming the new normal for most sectors, the nature of essential goods has changed and states should get the flexibility to decide what is essential for them.
Industry also highlighted that safety and hygiene equipment such as cleaners, thermal scanners and PPEs are not readily available and can be procured by local collector in bulk and sold to the surrounding industries through the local industry association.