Imphal: Consequent upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package aimed at uplifting the economy weakened by the nation-wide lockdown and COVID-19 pandemic, Manipur chief minister N. Biren Singh distributed emergency working capital finance to 41 Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) of the state.
The distribution was made in a simple function held at the chief minister’s secretariat, here, on Friday.
The assistance was provided in coordination with the State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank to enable the MSMEs to resume their normal functioning.
Biren said announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore economic package was a bold and historic step as the amount equals to 10% of the total GDP of the country. He opined that few countries could take such a decision and it had never happened in the history of the country.
The government took the daring step as the country needs to stimulate the economy while fighting COVID-19 pandemic at the same time. Following Prime Minister’s announcement, Union finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman had spelt out the details of the economic package in which support to MSME sector had been mentioned as a major component, Biren said.
In line with the central government’s decision, the state too needs to focus on agriculture, horticulture and MSME sectors to revive the state’s economy, he opined.
Stating that Manipur stands first in the number of registration of MSMEs in the entire North East, and 50% of these MSMEs are owned by women, Biren observed that Manipur’s future lies on agro-based industries and MSMEs.
The financial assistance, provided in the form of loans from different banks to these enterprises to restart their normal activities, would prove to be a success as repayment rate is now encouragingly high in the state.
The Prime Minister announced a Special Economic and Comprehensive Package of Rs. 20 lakh crore-equivalent to 10% of India’s GDP, in response to the various challenges arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic on May 12. Following this announcement, on May 13, the Union finance minister announced various measures focused on ‘Getting back to work’ i.e. enabling employers and employees, businesses, especially Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises, to get back to production and workers back to gainful employment. On May 14, the Union finance minister also announced measures to ameliorate the hardships faced specifically by migrant labourers, street vendors, migrant urban poor, small traders and small farmers.
The government of Manipur ‘strongly’ supports these measures and will continue to take necessary steps to implement the various measures announced by the Union government, from time to time. Extension of institutional credit support by the Banks is an important component of the announced economic package for which the state government is working in close collaboration with the banks and other stakeholders in Manipur, a press release from the chief minister’s secretariat said.