Business Bureau :
Chairman Vidarbha Chapter, Chamber of Small Industry Associations (COSIA) Mayank Shukla has thanked Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for extending the period of support from Goverment to EPF contributions by another three months. Goverment’s support to employee as well as employer’s contribution, for a total period of six months will not only ease out the employer’s liquidity problem but will more importantly enable the employees to carry a pay packet heavier by 12 per cent. But unfortunately, a rider of more than 90 per cent employees in the industrial unit must be withdrawing below Rs 15,000 per month which has deprived more than 90 per cent of the units taking benefit of this relief. “We understand the basic objective of any relief is to reach maximum people rather than curtailing the number. In this case not only employer is a sufferer but the poor employee is more aggrieved as he will carry a lighter pay packet than his colleague working in the same size of unit and this may create an atmosphere of discontent amongst the workers,” he said.
A token reduction of contribution from 12 per cent to 10 per cent (for employers as well as employees) in case of other left out MSME industries will not serve any purpose, Shukla felt. “In this hour of coronavirus pandemic crisis, the quantum of relief to individual may be less but should reach the maximum sufferers, which will be a healing touch to them, but any kind of discrimination will add to the mental agony of victims,” he noted.
The sentiments of masses were conveyed to the administration but may have been overlooked because of any reasons, which can be taken care even now, to show that the sincere efforts of Government are truly justified. In furtherance to this, Vice Chaiman of COSIA CA Julfesh Shah said, enough job opportunities for workforce is to be created, which is mainly possible through MSME sector. “This can be encouraged through proper reforms in Labour Laws. The prevailing ones are age-old and obsolete in today’s scenario and needs drastic change. We duly support the safety of workers at workplace and also a respectable descent life style fulfilling all their basic needs and security to job but at the same time employers also need justifiable and assured minimum return to their expenditure on labour component,” he said.
They should be given more teeth to punish defaulters and reward deserving ones. If the job creators are incentivised for the proper management of labour force more job opportunities will be created and more number of corporates, MNCs will be attracted to India, Shah added. Apart from labourers anxious to return home after over a month, jobless existence, businesses are also being squeezed by problems of logistics and transportation and financial hardships owing to the lockdown and April-June quarter would be a washout even for the big and mighty, but may prove to be catastrophic for SMEs and proper planning of funds and labour need to be worked out for its revival and sustainability, Shah added.