SME Times News Bureau | 18 Feb, 2020
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday said she will discuss
with the PMO about the relief that could be offered to industry but allayed any
immediate worries about scarcity of any raw materials as yet on account of
inventories built up by sectors as also on price rise.
"There could be some disruptions in supplies and concerns have been
expressed by the representative of pharma, solar and chemical industries,"
she said, adding the industry has sought easier bank payments and paperwork
"The government will soon announce measures to deal with the impact of
Coronavirus outbreak on the domestic industry," she said.
"There are no concerns about price rise (of medicines) so far. There is no
report of shortage of masks and medicines in Indian hospitals. In fact, there
was a demand from those who manufacture medical devices to remove ban on
exports," she said on the impact of Coronavirus.
Responding to questions, Sitharaman also said that it is too early to talk
about impact of Coronavirus outbreak on the 'Make in India' initiative.
She said following Tuesday's meeting, Secretary-level meetings on the impact
and relief will be held on Wednesday and the Finance Ministry Secretaries will
talks to the assigned departmental secretaries for pinning down the problems.
"Principal Economic Advisor Sanjeev Sanyal will also be part of this
exercise," she said.
The minister added the industry has sought self-declaration by Customs from the
Indian companies to release their stocks as since the necessary paperwork is
not coming from China, their stocks have been held here in the ports.
"The Secretaries will come with some solutions tomorrow post which hopefully
we will also have a discussion with the PMO and some response will be announced
at the earliest," she said.
"MSMEs wants banks flexibility on repayment on delay of any supply. All
the sector have stated that there is supply disruptions due to Coronavirus. But
there is no talk of price rise due to these supply side issues," the
The Finance Ministry had invited industry and trade members to give their
feedback on the Coronavirus outbreak impacts. The meeting discussed on
immediate contextual challenges and opportunities in supply chain of export
During their meeting with Sithraman, pharma companies requested the government
to consider airlifting of API supplies from China, in order to avoid any
shortage of pharma manufacturing and availability of drugs.
The worst-hit sectors among industry are electronics, textile, steel and
pharma. The Indian industry which is in the grip of a slowdown is dependent on
China on many raw materials like telecom and IT components, smart phones,
computers and the government in Tuesday's meeting was taking stock of the fact
that the production and supply chain is not disrupted for the manufacturing