'Economy in Lockdown' | Kashmir Inc demands special bailout package

The Kashmir Chapter of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organized a virtual conference on “Procedure for availing Benefits of Government Schemes and Alternate Source of Financing for MSME`s”.

According to statement, the objective of this webinar was to provide awareness on Government schemes and alternate sources of funding and how to avail benefits from the same.

The statement said the interactive webinar also aimed to inform the participants about the role of MSME Mentoring and Guidance Center of PHDCCI in providing guidance and hand holding MSMEs through the procedure for availing financing facilities available for MSMEs and to facilitate networking of MSME with banks, other financial agencies and institutions.

Baldev Singh Raina , Chairman, Kashmir Chapter & MD, Peaks Group of Companies   said this webinar was a platform where we can discuss the relief measures and policies introduced by government  which cannot only help MSME sector but also to entrepreneurs of J&K.

“We should vouch for a special economic package for MSME of J&K as we are in a state of Lockdown from 2019. During this pandemic situation promoting and handholding MSME sector is of great help for Kashmir’s socio-economic development,” Raina said.

Mushtaq Ahmad Chaya, Mentor PHDCCI-Kashmir threw light on the sectoral issues faced by the tourism Industry, specifically in the hospitality sector for availing various Government incentives and registration of Hotels under MSME`s .

Chaya said the schemes announced under Atma Nirbhar bharat or the Rs 3 lakh crore for MSME will not serve any purpose for the tourism Sector and he impressed upon that there is need of Special economic bailout package for the Kashmir region.

“Our problems are not linked with Covid-19. We are in economic slur from past so many years and there is need of handholding to revive the economy of J&K.”

Anil Khaitan, former President, PHDCCI & Mentor MSME Mentoring & Guidance Centre, PHDCCI said nowadays MSME`s and entrepreneurs look for other source of finances for the projects and lack of access to finance is most widely cited constrain for MSME for their growth. “We should consider the subsidized interest rates, Credit Insurance, Collateral free Loans, Separate Stock Exchange for MSME`s to raise money to have access to equity capital,” he said, adding that the emerging channel in financial intermediation is alternative finance which is considered outside the conventional banking system and mostly this finance is technology driven and it comes from the fintech companies, Crowd funding, Peer-to-Peer (P2P) lending which enables individuals to obtain loans directly from other individuals, cutting out the financial institution as the middleman, Matchmaker Model Of Financing in which entrepreneurs grow their companies with virtually no external funding because there is no need to tie-up cash in large amounts of inventory or assets.

Khaitan admitted that Kashmir is in state of Lockdown from past one year and for that there is an immediate need for Special Economic Revival Package for J&K from Government of India.

Khaitan mentioned that there are clear directions to the financial institutions by Prime Minister office to remain liberal viz-a-viz J&K.

Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary General, PHDCCI said MSME Sector is the most ideal sector for entrepreneurship driven by individual creativity and innovation.

He suggested few measures on how MSMEs can be benefited which were –  improvement and changes in the Government Assistance Schemes for MSMEs, render advice and mentoring support to MSMEs through the MSME guidelines, conduct capacity building programs for the MSMEs, guide and mentor first generation of entrepreneurs, virtual incubation centre to the students who wants to become entrepreneurs.

Dr H.P Kumar, Former CMD, NSIC & Advisor, PHDCCI  highlighted the TREDS, Champion Portal, MUDRA Scheme & PMEGP in particular for J&K and also discussed in detail about FINTEC funding. He said that proper mentoring and guidance is required to be given to the MSMEs for them to prosper in full strength. He concluded by suggesting a MoU to be signed between PHDCCI & Bank of Baroda in order to facilitate credit facilities for MSMEs.

Mehmood Ahmad Shah, Director Industries Kashmir said that after developments in August 2019, the RBI guidelines for stressed accounts don’t qualify the Most of the accounts and since the entrepreneurs of J&K are in problem from last one year therefore deep restructuring, reclassification of NPA, interest subvention is an essential requirement.

He said the UT even under these circumstances has attracted new investment in Kashmir region at the tune of almost Rs 1000 Crore and substantial area of around 5000 Kanals has been added in the land bank of Industries department and hopefully lot of investments is expected and is on the anvil from the entrepreneurs within and outside J&K.

Gowher Arif, General Manager-J&K Development Finance Corporation describes the role of his department in disbursing incentives and financing the cases as NBFC and he also ensured that all circulars and guidelines for MSME issued by RBI will be implemented in DFC and stress upon the for the awareness of IDES scheme.

The interactive webinar also saw various issues faced by the industry being highlighter by  Bilal Ahmad Kawoosa, State Expert Chair MSME Kashmir Chapter, Himayun Wani, Executive member Kashmir Chapter and Mr Vikrant Kuthiala, Former Chairman Jammu, Rakesh Wazir Chairman Jammu Chapter  and  Rahul Sahai Co-Chairman Jammu Chapter who also provided there inputs and suggestions.

Mallika Verma, Director PHDCCI –J&K delivered the vote of thanks. The interactive session was moderated by Kanchan Zutshi, Secretary PHD Chamber MSME Mentoring & Guidance Center.