Mangaluru, Oct 22, 2019: Karnataka Small Scale Industries Association (Kassia) president R Raju has urged the government to improve road connectivity to New Mangaluru Port (NMP), a major port in Karnataka, keeping the interest of industries in mind.
He told reporters here on Monday that it is unfortunate that the port, which should have been a gateway to the region, is not utilised optimally for lack of connectivity.
The state government and the Centre should develop connectivity to Mangaluru port in terms of National Highway links from Hassan to Mangaluru and to the hinterland in the region, he added.
Raju said the planned tubular road from Sakleshpur to Uppinangady should be implemented at the earliest along with the six-lane road from Mangaluru to Bengaluru.
The industries also face difficulties in moving large containers due to the poor road connectivity, he said.
Raju said cashew industries in the region are staring at a bleak future due to the stubborn attitude of Customs. The Customs authorities are not accepting the value of products declared by importers and are arbitrarily fixing a price for import of cashew kernels. It has affected the performance of the industries in the region, he claimed.
He said the micro and small enterprises in the state are hit by the recession and many units have witnessed a steep fall in the business ranging from 30% to 70%.
The number of shifts operated have been curtailed and the contract employees have lost their jobs. Further, the Centre should disburse loans at 4% interest to SMEs through the banks by subsidising the interest rates and also provide working capital at lower interest rate. The repayment period should be extended from six years to 12 years, he demanded.
GST reduction sought
Raju urged government to reduce GST on job work from 12% to 5% for the survival of MSMEs in the country. The government should also raise the credit guarantee cover up to Rs 5 crore from Rs 2 crore for the SMEs keeping in view the changing business needs and the need for finance for operations, he urged.
He said the prime minister’s initiative of providing loans through the 59-minute window online is only on paper. It is difficult to avail the loan under the scheme as the banks place hurdles after hurdles, he stated.
Kassia also urged the Centre to approve Small Factories Act which is pending before the Parliament and also shift the regional office of SIDBI from Hyderabad to Bengaluru to cater to the needs of the MSMEs in Karnataka.