June 13, 2024

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Delighting finance buffs

There is no order: Chennai MSMEs resume work but future remains uncertain

Many Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) which have opened in Chennai almost after 60 days of lockdown said future remains uncertain as no new buyers are approaching them.

The Ambattur industrial estate, which is a specially designed industrial area, is one of the 17 industrial estates in Chennai that were allowed to resume operations with 25 per cent workforce.

People who came to work were seen maintaining strict social distancing and wearing masks. All other safety precautions were also being followed.

It may be noted that MSMEs in Ambattur industrial estate is facing a major demand hurdle despite resuming work.

S Athmanesan, proprietor, Rold Harr Automats said there are no buyers at this point of time.

“There is no order. These materials are March scheduled. I want to give work to the workers. That’s why we are running. We don’t have invoices. There are no bills for March, April and May. April GST is zero.”

Athmanesan runs an MSME which manufacture parts used in breaks of vehicles.

Out of his nine employees, he has resumed work with three employees and runs his factory from 10 am to 6 pm as per government guidelines.

Mary, a woman who works in Athmanesan’s factory, shared her ordeal while speaking to India Today TV.

She told that last year she was unemployed for five months when the auto sector took a hit.

Just when things started getting better, the pandemic struck and the country went under lockdown.

“No one was working. All of us were at home. We did not pay rent for 4 months. My employer gave me 2 month’s salary and that’s how I paid rent. And my family ate with what was left,” she said.

Many of the employees also left Chennai and have gone back to their hometowns.

‘We are in financial crisis’

Industrial Tooling Services is another factory in Ambattur which employees 16 workers. They have currently asked 4 employees to return and have resumed operations.

The Centre has announced a Rs 3 lakh crore collateral-free emergency loan scheme to support MSMEs, but these factories are struggling to get business back on track.

“We are getting payment from big companies. Medium and small companies are unable to pay. We are in a financial crisis. These people depend on us. Till March, we gave full salary and in April we gave 50 per cent. If things go well, we’ll give fully”, said Janakiraman, Partner, Industrial Tooling Services at the Ambattur industrial estate.

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