In the four-and-a-half years since the BJP-led NDA government took over, at least 35 lakh jobs have been lost among traders and in the MSME (micro, small and medium enterprises) sector, says a survey by the All India Manufacturers’ Organisation (AIMO).
Released on December 15, 2018, the AIMO survey talks about the TMSME segment (Traders, Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises), clubbing traders along with the MSME sector, and surveyed more than 34,000 representatives throughout the country between October 1, 2018 and October 30, 2018.
The survey said that traders saw the maximum job losses at 43 per cent over this time period, followed by 35 per cent in the small industry segment, 32 per cent in the micro enterprises segment, and 24 per cent job losses in the medium enterprise segment.
“The worst hit sectors where unorganised employment prevails are: Plastic/ Matches/ Crackers/ Dyeing units/ Stitching units/ Stone units/ Tanneries/ Job working units/ Printing sectors,” said the AIMO release.
However, the most adversely affected is the self-employed category, which includes tailors, cobblers, barbers, plumbers, masons, electricians, and the like, who are all being eliminated, said the AIMO.
The job losses among traders are partly due to competition from e-commerce retail.
“Traders are closing down due to stiff competition from E-commerce sales and this will also result in loss of revenue in rental income by Middle Income families,” said the AIMO.
The year 2015–16 “saw a growth in all areas of business due to high sentiments and expectations from the new leadership,” says the AIMO, but it “went down next year due to demonetisation and then again due to GST implementation and then due to finance availability and higher outstanding with Government payments and compliance matters.”
The survey said the number of companies making profits had dropped drastically.
K.E. Raghunathan, the national president of AIMO, said in the release, “According to our survey, the number of companies which were making profit during 2014–15 have come down significantly. If 100 companies in Trader segment were making profit in 2014–15, now only 30 are making profits for the current year. In the Micro Scale Industries, the drop was to 47; in the Small Scale Industries, it has dropped to 65; and in the Medium Scale Industries segment, it has dropped to 76.”
According to the survey, sectors which require “immediate revival and need a great degree of assistance” are Housing, Textiles, Automobiles, Power, Match industries, Stone Industry, Plastic, Tannery and Consumer products.
“Their immediate requirement would be that dues from government should be cleared within 15 days—whether it is GST Refunds or TDS Refunds or due in payments for supply,” said the AIMO release.
As Raghunathan said, the survey “is a clear indicator that the TMSME sector is in a critical condition at this moment of time and we feel the Government of India needs to address the issue with a lot more seriousness and urgency.”
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