IPAMA requests government support to tide over the fallout of Covid-19

By 27 Mar 2020

As the Covid-19 outbreak grips the nation and the country remains under a lockdown for 21 days, the Indian Printing Packaging and Allied Machinery Manufacturers' Association (IPAMA) has issued a release requesting support from the government.

Given the current circumstances, the industry body has asked the government to consider relaxation on certain issues, including, extension of financial year, wages of workers, relaxation for the payment of GST, relaxation of bank interest relating to working capital.

It is March, and there are many financial deadlines that fall in this month to be completed by the respective units. All over the country, all major cities have been partially or completely locked down. Since there is negligible working in the factories and offices, IPAMA has asked the government to extend the financial year up to 31 May 2020 instead of 31 March 2020. “Even after the normalisation of the prevailing conditions, it will take considerable time for the industry to come back to the normal position,” the release argued.

IPAMA has proposed that the wages for the period of lockdown should either be paid by ESIC or permission may be given to adjust the same against the casual or medical leaves as immediate relief to the industry. “The industry owner can bear up to a limited period, but it is not possible for them to bear the wages of the workers for months, particularly by the MSME units, which are bearing the brunt of the prevailing situation,” the release said. Alternatively, it suggested that the government may bear the employer’s contribution of PF and ESI. “It is not possible for industry to do all the sacrifices. During the lockdown, there is no earning of industries,” it added.

As GST is directly related to the purchase and sale of the material, it is not possible for industrial units to cope up with the deadlines. It is requested to give relaxation of date for the payment of the GST. However, the GST related payments will be made by the industrial units on the revised date fixed by the government authorities. “We all stood by the government to maximise the payment of government taxes which certainly are in the interest of all concerned. We also understand fully that the government alone cannot fight with the pandemic; it requires assistance and support from all Indian citizens in this hour of crisis,” the release said.

As everything is on hold, IPAMA has also asked the government to give relaxation on the bank interest as well. It suggested reduction of the percentage of interest to an affordable level. A reduction of 1% or 2% may give a huge boost and support to the Industrial units,” the release said.

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