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  The FISME Factor  


President's Message
Mr Animesh SaxenaYou will read this piece in lockdown -a period of deep distress, caused by COVID-19. Businesses are facing acute challenges at several fronts simultaneously: payment of salaries during lock-down, meeting deadlines of regulatory and tax compliances as financial closed, sudden freezing of supply chains: raw material and finished products in transit. The loss of demand stares. These are unprecedented times. To their credit union Ministries Home, Finance, MSME and Commerce & Industries have been fairly quick to address some of these emerging concerns. Commerce Minister organized two successive video conferences on 28th and 30th March. I was fortunate to raise concerns of MSMEs and apparel industry. But problems have been rising exponentially and therefore we decided to start two Whatsapp groups comprising of MSME associations. Now a lot of feedback is getting generated from ground. We are compiling them and after thorough discussion would suggest a course to the Government. I also appeal to the readers to send their feedback on what issues they face and their wisdom to could be done post COVID scenario. Stay safe. "
Animesh Saxena, President, FISME
Vol VII, Issue 200: April 1, 2020
Business Banter: Lessons from Entrepreneurs
20 Tips to Run Your Business During the Time of Lockdown and Curfew
Macro Metre
Government extends foreign trade policy by one year
Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 1.7 lakh cr package for poor people
Domestic Digest
Cong demands govt to bear 70 per cent of MSMEs' wage bill Knowledge and News Network (KNN)
BOI cuts external benchmark lending rate by 75 bps; MSME to benefit
Amid COVID-19 outbreak, banks come fwd to rescue MSMEs; UBI sets up emergency funding
State Scan
UP govt allows small industrial units to function amid lockdown; seeks to ensure social distancing Knowledge and News Network (KNN)
Punjab CM demands financial support for MSMEs, business enterprises
MSMEs in Karnataka laud RBI's move; seek deferment of electricity, water bills for 3 months
Knowledge Store
This startup aims to solve the shortage of ventilators amid coronavirus pandemic
...And A Lot More

Business Banter: Lessons from Entrepreneurs

20 Tips to Run Your Business During the Time of Lockdown and Curfew

In the matter of just a week, India went from a do-not-panic state to a state of complete lockdown. Coronavirus is spreading like wildfire and every day we see several cases rising at an alarming speed. With 30 new cases, India's number tally is 536. As per a news report by Reuters, India could face between around 100,000 and 1.3 million confirmed cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus by mid-May if it continues to spread at its current pace, according to a team of scientists based mainly in the United States.
Writing on the Wall

By lockdown’s end: Plans to kickstart India’s economic engine keeping Covid-19 hazards in mind must be chalked up

Centre on Monday scotched the speculation that it has been decided to extend nationwide lockdown beyond 21 days. One hopes that there will be no reason to persist with the unprecedented measure inflicted upon us by the global health crisis. The aftermath of the lockdown could herald a different world for citizens, workplaces and societies with clear social distancing norms in place even as economic activity resumes.

Media Monitor

Macro Metre

​Government extends foreign trade policy by one year

The government on Tuesday extended the existing foreign trade policy for one year till March 2021 amid the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic outbreak and the lockdown to contain its spread. “The existing foreign trade policy 2015-20 which is valid up to March 31 this year is extended up to March 31, 2021,” the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT) said in a notification. As per the notification, the validity of various import-linked export schemes such as Duty Free Import Authorisation (DFIA) and Export Promotion Capital Goods (EPCG) have been extended by one year.

Nirmala Sitharaman announces Rs 1.7 lakh cr package for poor people

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Thursday announced a slew of measures to fight calm a little the distressed economic situation amid setback due to Coronavirus pandemic and 21- days lockdown. Sitharaman asserted that the economic relief package would focus primarily on migrant labourers and daily wage labourers. "A package is ready for the poor who need immediate help like migrant workers and urban and rural poor. No one will go hungry. The package is worth Rs 1.7 lakh crore," Sitharaman said in press conference.

Amid lockdown, FM raises default threshold to Rs 1 cr to help MSMEs

In view of the lockdown due Coronavirus breakout, the Finance Ministry on Tuesday announced special relief package for companies under the Companies Act and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code (IBC). ''Due to the emerging financial distress faced by most companies on account of the large-scale economic distress caused by COVID 19, it has been decided to raise the threshold of default under section 4 of the IBC 2016 to Rs 1 crore (from the existing threshold of Rs 1 lakh). This will by and large prevent triggering of insolvency proceedings against Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), an official statement said on Tuesday.

SIDBI launches SAFE scheme to assist MSMEs with loans up to Rs 50 lakh at 5% interest rate during Corona crisis

Responsive to the need of the hour to fight Corona Virus from all fronts, Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI), the principal financial institution engaged in the promotion, financing and development of Micro and Small Enterprises (MSEs), has launched SAFE (SIDBI Assistance to Facilitate Emergency response against Corona Virus) scheme. It is a financial assistance program for MSEs which are engaged in the manufacturing of products or offers services related to fighting the novel coronavirus, which has been declared a pandemic.

Domestic Digest

Cong demands govt to bear 70 per cent of MSMEs' wage bill

Amid crippled situation during lockdown due to coronavirus pandemic, the Congress has demanded that the Central government should bear 70 per cent of wage bill of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) for three months. The party, also sought a law to make sure that there will be no retrenchment in any sector or company for the next six months. ''Bearing 70 per cent of the wage bill of the MSME sector for three months will entail an expenditure of about Rs 1 lakh crore.

BOI cuts external benchmark lending rate by 75 bps; MSME to benefit

Bank of India has reduced its external benchmark lending rate by 75 basis points to 7.25 per cent effective April 1, 2020. The lender's external benchmark lending rate is linked to the RBI's repo rate, which was reduced by 75 bps to 4.40 per cent on March 27. ''With this, we have passed on the benefit of rate cut announced by RBI on March 27, 2020" to our Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME), home, vehicle loan customers.,'' The Bank further said that it would help MSMEs and other borrowers to likely secure loans at lower interest rates that might also lead to a decline in the cost of loans.

Govt frees movement of goods; assures RBI directive will be followed by all banks

To deal with COVID-19 crisis, Union Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal held a meeting with top industry associations through Video Conferencing today. "Government has issued instructions there is no need to distinguish between 'essential' and 'non-essential' goods allowing free movement of all types of goods", Minister told stakeholders while reacting to about freeze on movement of goods across the country following un-precedented lockdown and harassment of truckers in most of the states.

Amid COVID-19 outbreak, banks come fwd to rescue MSMEs; UBI sets up emergency funding window

Keeping note that Coronavirus pandemic which has spread across countries paralyzing economies and has brought normal operations to a halt especially for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), several banks have come to rescue them. Public sector lender Union Bank of India (UBI) has set up an emergency funding window for its MSME and corporate customers impacted by COVID-19 outbreak. As per the statement, the bank is offering a maximum 10 per cent of the existing working capital limit to accounts that are standard as on February 1, 2020 adding that ''the repayment period of these loans will be 36 months, including maximum moratorium of 12 months. The window is open till September 30, 2020.''
State Scan

Uttar Pradesh    

UP govt allows small industrial units to function amid lockdown; seeks to ensure social distancing

The Uttar Pradesh government has decided to allow some specific industrial units to function which can ensure the norms of social distancing in order to contain the spread of coronavirus. In a letter to all District Collector and other officials concerned, the UP government has said ''it is noteworthy that all industrial units (including units of the brick kiln) which can ensure the regular maintenance of their workers while following the norms of social distancing and protecting the life and health of workers in the industrial unit premises can be allowed to run.''


Punjab CM demands financial support for MSMEs, business enterprises

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has submitted a memorandum to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman requesting financial support from the Centre to business enterprises, MSMEs, as well as organised and unorganised labour in the state. According to an official spokesperson, Captain Singh, in its memorandum sought an economic package from the Centre to deal with the situation created from COVID-19. "Based on a quick assessment of the situation, the chief minister has sought immediate extension of the financial year from March 31 to April 30, for the worst-hit MSME and tourism and hospitality sectors, along with major interventions in healthcare and pharma sectors," the spokesperson said in a statement here.


MSMEs in Karnataka laud RBI's move; seek deferment of electricity, water bills for 3 months

Lauding the Reserve Bank of India's (RBI) measures to cut the repo rate and moratorium on payment of EMIs for three months etc, the Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (KASSIA) has urged the state government to announce the same for Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state. ''We would like to request the state government to provide similar relief for payments of fixed charges, electricity and water bills by the SMEs for the next three months as it will be critical for them to pick themselves up,'' KASSIA president R Raju said. ''The government must also consider subsidizing the salaries of workers of these units in the coming months besides permitting the working hours to be extended by two hours temporarily to recoup the lost man days. These measures will be essential in order to meet the impending challenges,'' he added.


Rajasthan CM writes to PM; seeks assistance for tourism, hotel industry & MSMEs

In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi seeking financial assistance as well as food and social security for economically weaker sections and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs). Gehlot, in his letter, pointed out that the livelihood of 23 lakh construction workers, 5 lakh registered factory workers and around one lakh street vendors are in danger because of coronavirus scare. In order to cope with these troubles, the central government should arrange for a relief package for them, he said, adding that ''the beneficiaries of food security, who live on daily wages, should be provided free wheat for the coming four months.''
FISME’s official Twitter handle
Knowledge and News Network (KNN)
KNN India’s official Twitter handle
Anil Bhardwaj, Secretary General
Your Views

Do you think that the steps taken by Government to handle Coronavirus (COVID-19) sufficient?

According to FISME factor 66.7% MSMEs think that the steps taken by Government to handle Coronavirus (COVID-19) are sufficient while 33.3% think these are not.
Knowledge Store

HR Heuristics

“Organisations with people driven by purpose & passion, don’t need to manage them by position & hierarchy”,

The focus for 2020 will be on the ‘human at work’ and on ‘making work more human’. To make this happen, we will have to focus on all the three — technology, data and employee experience. Put together, these make the triad that defines the future of work.

Finance Fundamentals

Coronavirus and a Looming Recession: How to Raise Capital in Uncertain Times

For the past decade, we have been in the midst of the biggest economic expansion in American history with unemployment at a historic low of 3.6%. Naturally, during periods of economic expansion, raising capital for a startup or new business is easier. Investors are incentivized to plow capital into nascent businesses because both the prospect of return is higher in comparison to other investment opportunities and the downside risk is lessened because of target customer spending and capital replenishment.

Marketing Mantras

Up to Speed on the Marketing Flywheel

The funnel concept has been around for a long time. Marketing teams use it to plan out the journey people take from prospect to lead to customer, and it’s worked. Lately, however, companies are switching to a marketing flywheel. Why the shift? One word: customers.

Policy Polemic

MIA accuses EPFO Chandigarh for forceful recovery of PF amid lockdown; MSMEs seek action

The Mohali Industries Association (MIA) has accused Employees' Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) Chandigarh of recovering Provident Fund (PF) despite lockdown due to COVID-19 outbreak.

SME Special

Pune Firm Innovates Low-Cost Kit That Detects COVID-19 in Less Than Half The Time

On the evening of 25 March 2020, Mylab Discovery Solutions Private Limited, a Pune-based molecular diagnostics startup, announced that it is ready to supply its first batch of Made in India COVID-19 testing kits to government hospitals and private labs.

Success Story

This startup aims to solve the shortage of ventilators amid coronavirus pandemic

As the coronavirus outbreak wreaks havoc across the globe, infecting more than 900 people in India, healthcare experts fear there could be a severe shortage of ventilators. Coronavirus or COVID-19 is known to affect the respiratory system of the patient who is required to be put on a ventilator.


The National Statistical Office (NSO), Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation has been bringing out the employment related statistics in the formal sector covering the period September 2017 onwards, using information on the number of subscribers who have subscribed under three major schemes, namely the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF) Scheme.

Quotable Quotes

“ The trench is as much a part of growth and expansion as the peak is. Hitting the bottom before you succeed is almost a rite of passage. ”
– - Dr. Ashwin Naik - Indian Entrepreneur and Founder of Vaatsalya Healthcare
Country Chronicles
FISME regularly receives monthly reports on the economies of various countries from their missions in India. These reports provide information on key economic parameters, trade related information and all news relevant for importers and exporters. In this edition you can take a look at reports on:
Reader Reactions

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Asstt. Editor: Kalpana Sharma
Types setting & websdesigning: Sanjay Sachan  
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