Budget 2022: Access to low-cost technology, extension of the ECLGS, among the measures needed for MSMEs: Assocham survey

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Ease of doing business for MSMEs: The survey of 400 people from over 40 cities expects the MSME sector, after healthcare, to receive the most attention in the 2022-23 budget.

Ease of doing business for MSMEs: Despite government measures such as the Emergency Line of Credit Guarantee Scheme (ECLGS) among several others to support MSMEs, the sector has struggled to survive during the pandemic, industry body Assocham said on Thursday as it launched a survey of pre-budget expectations. The survey of 400 people from over 40 cities expects the MSME sector, after health, to receive the most attention in the 2022-23 budget. Energy and infrastructure, manufacturing and technology were the main sectors likely to get the most attention in the budget.

Among the measures expected for the MSME sector, 28% of respondents called for measures to encourage access to the latest low-cost technologies for MSMEs to overcome the pandemic and boost long-term competitiveness. 20.5% of respondents called for an extension of the ECLGS until next year, while the remaining 20%, 18.4% and 13.5% suggested stimulus measures to stimulate consumer demand , streamlining the compliance burden and strengthening regulations to address late payment issues for MSMEs, respectively.

“The MSME sector, which is the backbone of the Indian economy, has been hit hard by the pandemic. This segment was facing significant survival challenges as it faced disrupted supply chains, a declining consumer demand and a limited workforce.Despite government measures such as the ECLG scheme to provide support during the initial lockdown, MSMEs have had a tough ride,” said Deepak Sood, Secretary General from Assocham to Financial Express Online.

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On Tuesday, the Association of Indian Banks had also called on the government to extend the ECLGS program by one year, which would expire in March this year, as MSMEs continue to remain affected due to Covid-related challenges. IBA had also requested an additional 10% credit facility for eligible borrowers under the program and the inclusion of SMA-2 under the program.

MSMEs affected by Covid, after the first and second waves, have sought to increase their investments in digital technologies. For example, 82% of respondents, in a survey of more than 250 small businesses published in April last year by Dun & Bradstreet, said they had digitized their day-to-day operations during the pandemic, which helped reduce costs for 54% of them and to improve competitiveness for 51 percent. Similarly, a Crisil survey published in December 2020 noted that the adoption of digital channels such as online aggregators or marketplaces, social media and mobile marketing increased from 29% of micro-enterprises using them before Covid at 47% in November. year.

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