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Incentivise MSMEs to produce medical supplies with Govt. buy-back pact: Sondhi

The Centre should come out with a stimulus package to kickstart the economy after prolonged period of lockdown, says commercial vehicles maker Ashok Leyland managing director & CEO Vipin Sondhi in an interview. Excerpts:

草草影院最新地址入口What are the steps government should take to come out of the current crisis?

草草影院最新地址入口A calibrated and safe exit from the lockdown would be a practical approach to restart economic activity. While the first quarter would certainly be affected, a phased recovery will help us get the economy back on track.

草草影院最新地址入口An economic stimulus package would be critical to kick-start economic activity after this long period of disruption. Supply chains need to be re-started, migrant labour needs to come back to work (in a systematic and safe manner), and consumer demand needs to be triggered. Another initiative that can be taken in these time is to incentivise MSME’s to produce medical supplies, with a buy back arrangement from the Government.

What are the measures you suggest to bail out the cash starved MSMEs?

草草影院最新地址入口MSME forms the key element of product supply chain - be it agri-processing, textiles, or auto-ancillaries. They need support from the Government, and some measures to be considered would be - easy access to working capital and liquidity, providing Interest free and collateral free loans; introduction of an incentive for MSME’s to help them pay salaries and wages to their employees in these times; ensuring that all pending payments to industry/MSME’s are cleared immediately by the government departments and PSUs.

We at Ashok Leyland have prioritized settlement of dues to MSME’s and have instituted a process of paying the MSME’s five days prior to the statutory payment due date.

Migrant workers are struck without food and shelter. What can be done to make them stay back once the lockout is lifted? Are they assured of jobs? Will it lead to shortage of manpower?

Migrant labour need to be cared for and we should take all necessary measures to ensure that they are provided with food and shelter.

In our case, our manpower is predominantly from local areas. In the initial period, we will be operating at very low levels, hence we foresee no problem in availability. Our contract manpower are also around premise and since we have been extending support by means of salary as well as food and health care, we should be able to ramp up.

草草影院最新地址入口On resumption we will ensure that we provide mandatory health screening for migrant labour once they report for duty, we are also setting up quarantining facilities for migrant labour, if COVID-19 symptoms are identified.

草草影院最新地址入口Drivers have abandoned the truck and goods and have gone away. Are there adequate number of drivers to retrieve the truck and the products?

Logistics and transportation are the backbone of the economy, and in these challenging times, vehicles need to be running to transport essentials. The truckers should ensure that the supply chain of these essential supplies are not disrupted, and the communities affected by the lockdown are cared for.

We, in turn, need to care for these truckers and some measures which the Government could take to assist these drivers are - to provide minimum wages to the drivers, institute a driver risk allowance for the next 6-9 months which can be charged to the customer as in service charges in a restaurant, incorporate a transport cess which can be used for their welfare.

To ensure that their health and safety are cared for, insurance for the drivers could be provided, and the working conditions for the truck drivers could be mandated – through cabin regulation.

草草影院最新地址入口For the drivers, who are transporting essentials across the country, assistance needs to be provided in the form of food, water, essentials, and service support at pit-stops along the highways, the pit stops funding could be routed through the CSR budgets of companies.

草草影院最新地址入口What kind of lessons do we learn through these crisis?

草草影院最新地址入口While there are many lessons to be learnt from this crisis, the unforeseen coronavirus outbreak has severely affected the supply chain of many companies due to the disruption overseas. Companies that have a heavily import dependent supply chain have been affected.

In the long-term companies will need to work out a plan to be self-sufficient and maximise their supply chain locally, and we strongly believe that India has the capability to manufacture all these critical components and reduce the dependency on imports.

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Printable version | Apr 26, 2020 5:05:43 PM | http://hwgcfsf.com/business/incentivise-msmes-to-produce-medical-supplies-with-govt-buy-back-pact-sondhi/article31409457.ece

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