CHENNAI: Facing massive losses after the recent floods, the Industrial Estate Manufacturing Association (IEMA) in the city representing the micro, small and medium enterprise (MSME) units have wanted timely relief to get the crippled firms back on their feet.
As many as 20,000 units across the State have been hit by the deluge according to their estimates, leading to a loss of Rs 14,000 crores. Many are in the fourth week of inactivity.
The manufacturing units at Guindy, Ekkattuthangal, Ambattur, Padi and Thirumudivakkam face staggering losses after flood waters damaged equipment, submerged factory units and destroyed everything from VAT statements to 10 year sales tax records. Several small firms in Ekkattuthangal have placed their documents on pavements in hopes salvaging them.
“Immediate relief of Rs 1 lakh as aid and Rs 1 lakh as interest-free loan is needed for all flood-hit units,” said VS Narasimhan, president, IEMA, to the media on Saturday.
A body comprising a national Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) representative, a State-level industry representative, a member from the Association and a bank representative should be set up to assess the ailing units to give funds, said the association.
The interest-free sales tax scheme was also highlighted and wanted it granted for these units which lost crores worth machinery to sewage and oil-mixed flood waters.
“Much of the equipment has become waste. Even if we sell it to scrap dealers, it will be at a great loss to us,” says MV Madhu Sudhana
Raja, who runs a paper component unit that was submerged under 12 feet of flood water after the Chembarambakkam reservoir overflowed.
The association has further requested the micro and small-scale units that have suffered total loss of equipment to be treated as new units, which would make them eligible for a 25 per cent capital investment subsidy from the State.
Saravanan, who had been running a two-machine automobile company named Pyramid at Ekattuthangal says that he will have to pay Rs 3 lakh a machine on repairs. He had just finished paying off the loans a year ago before the floods took apart the whole factory.
“I don’t know how to pay wages to my workers. We small scale industries don’t know where to go as we invested fully in our trade and overnight all of it has turned to loss,” he says.