Chennai, April 16(BPNS)
The Medium and Small Industries of Coimbatore are facing the heat as the second wave of Covid is surging ahead with increasing numbers as days progress.
M Senthilnathan, who has a foundry business in Coimbatore industrial estate while speaking to BPNS said, “ I was doing a business of 12 to 15 lakh per month and it has fallen down by more than 60% and our staff strength which was 16 has now come down to 5 with almost all of the guest workers having left for their hometowns.”
Another major issue faced by the small industries is the sky rocketing prices of raw materials and without any credit being extended by the ram material suppliers, the industries face a major revenue gap as they have to sell the finished product with a credit period of more than two months.
Kumaradas who is running a unit providing nuts,bolts, screws etc to the pump manufacturers of Coimbatore has felt the heat of the Covid surge since 2020. While he was doing brisk business till 2020 March, when the country went for a lockdown, the present situation is grim and bleak.
While speaking to BPNS ,the 44 year old Kumaradas said, “I was running brisk business and had no credits and no loans even though I had bought a few new machines and all the loans were paid back. I had more than 25 workers and was doing business to the tune of 20 lakhs a month but it’s all gone now. After the lockdown was lifted we were just recovering, but the second wave of the pandemic is wrecking the whole plans and soon I will turn into a debtor as business is very bad and no credits are being extended by raw material suppliers.”
It is to be noted that Coimbatore has around 50,000 Medium and Small industries which employs more than 5 lakh people and a large percentage of these workers are from outside the states. Most of the labourers are in the process of returning back and the units are trying to retain them back.
Thomas Vargheese who is running a small unit making industrial gaskets is facing a tough time. While speaking to BPNS he said, “We have thirty employees and twenty of them are from outside Tamil Nadu, mostly from UP and Rajasthan. They wanted to go home fearing a second lockdown and I am trying to retain them by providing them everything including extra salary and am trying to inoculate them but most of them are young and hence not in the age suitable for vaccination.”
The MSME’s have given several representations to the state government and the central government urging them to form a price monitoring committee for regulating the price of raw materials. As many as 19 industrial associations have come together to discuss the next course of action to control the spiraling prices of raw materials.
C Sivakumar, Coimbatore Tirupur District Micro and Cottage Entrepreneurs Association( COTMA) while speaking to BPNS said, “We cannot bear another lockdown and have taken all precautions to prevent it. We have made it mandatory that all the workers wear masks, sanitise regularly and maintain social distancing”.
The MSME’s in Coimbatore is expecting an intervention from the government regarding raw materials and is creating an awareness programme among the guest workers regarding the Covid surge. The associations are using various platforms including social media and caricatures to convey the message of security including mask, social distancing and sanitation among the workers so that they stay back.