New Delhi, May 29, 2020.
Union Finance Minister Mrs Nirmala Sitharaman assured the Dalit Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (DICCI) that the government will address all relevant concerns raised by the chamber regarding the Atma Nirbhar Bharat relief package announced earlier this month, and other issues of SC-ST entrepreneurs.
The Minister was addressing DICCI members during a webinar held here today. All secretaries of the ministry were also present.
“DICCI is the voice of the ground level stakeholders, which we take very seriously. It has made a pioneering effort to bring forth the voice of the entrepreneurial segment of the community and have contributed immensely in policy formations,” the Minister said.
Founder-Chairman of DICCI, Dr Milind Kamble suggested a series of measures to the government for SC-ST entrepreneurs to help them revive business after the lockdown. “From MSME’s to street vendors – all nano entrepreneurs have been taken care of with the Atma Nirbhar package announced by the government,” he said. Thanking the government for the MSME package, he also urged the minister to increase credit limit from 20% to 40% of turnover to meet the working capital requirements of SC and ST entrepreneurs during this crisis.
Dr Kamble further requested the government to consider the creation of 15% Margin Money Support Scheme for Stand-Up India Scheme (SUIS) for enabling first-generation SC-ST entrepreneurs to avail the credit facility of Stand-Up India Scheme and creation of MUDRA 2.0 to support credit facilities to nano and micro-entrepreneurs. He suggested that the National Scheduled Caste Finance Development Corporation (NSFDC) be reconstituted into a Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC) for channelizing the Scheduled Caste development funds directly to the SC entrepreneurs and to yield result-oriented outcomes. Dr Kamble also voiced concern over the provision for disallowing global tenders for government procurements for up to Rs 200 crores, saying that it could be used to indirectly route global players into the Indian market for these tenders.
Mr Ravi Kumar Narra, National Working President of DICCI, urged the minister to reintroduce the Pradhan Mantri Rojgar Protsahan Yojana (PMRPY) plan to incentivize employers for generating new employment in the post-COVID-19 scenario. “ESIC should also be included under the scheme to incentivize both the employer and the employees. The scheme may be revived for another period of 3 years for the existing and new businesses,” he said. “Many SME start-ups have taken loans and were in various stages of setup when suddenly the lockdown derailed their process. If not supported at this juncture they will die, causing not just personal loss but a huge potential loss to the economy. Such start-ups should be identified and a special Start-Up Relief Package should be brought out to support them,” he added.
Mr Sanjiv Dangi, North India President of DICCI, appreciated the measures announced in the relief package to ensure the survival of SC-ST MSMEs. He suggested that 10% of these funds should be earmarked for SC-ST MSMEs so that its benefits reach these enterprises. He also pointed out the problem entrepreneurs were facing in meeting their GST obligations due to partial or delayed payments. “We request the Hon’ble Minister to consider making GST payable only on amounts received on bills and not the full amount.”
Mr Raja Nayak, South India President of DICCI, urged the government to set up a Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Tribes (VCF-ST), similar to the existing Venture Capital Fund for Scheduled Castes (VCF-SC) managed by IFCI. “It will enable the development of entrepreneurship in the Scheduled Tribes communities,” he said.
Mr. Nishchay Shelke,West India President, all Chapter Presidents and National Council members, including participants from London, UK, and Kyoto, Japan, voiced their concerns and suggestions during the webinar. Amongst the eminent panellists, Mr. Ashishkumar Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO of Bombay Stock Exchange, and Mr. Kishore Kharat, former Managing Director and CEO, Indian Bank and IDBI Bank, put forward their suggestions too.