TN under lockdown: Employees of MSMEs may lose their salaries for April!

The shut down of most of the industrial and economical corridors in the state of Tamil Nadu in the wake of the Coronavirus outbreak has left several lakh people to face and endure the pay cut from the companies as the operations and businesses have been halted after the state government has imposed a lockdown, ordering to close the establishments to curb the spread of the virus.

The Micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSME) sector has been going through a major plunge in its operations and the firms have indicated that they won't be able to pay salaries to its workers for April due to persisting absence of cash inflow. According to the reports, some of the firms in the MSME sector have been evaluating their options for imposing salary cuts to the employees in the coming months.

The Hindu has reported that many firms have paid only 50-70% of their salaries in March and the companies have cited that the remaining salaries would be credited as and when cash comes in from the vendors. The President of Industrial Estate Manufacturers' Association said that many industries have obtained money from the private financiers to pay salaries for March and it would take at least six months to revamp and repair the sector as most of the firms have been depending on the big companies to pedal their wheels.

According to the Hindu, the association heads held a virtual meeting with the state government recently during which they put out the challenges of the industries and they have addressed the state and central governments with the hope that Prime Minister Modi would permit the companies to resume the operations after April 20, failing which the situation would get worse.

The associations had indicated that they won't be able to pay 100% of the salaries to the employees and the companies would pay a certain percentage of the salaries to the workers to meet their essential needs. The President of Coimbatore District Small Industries' Association said that the government should direct the banks to provide loans to the MSMEs to pay salaries for their workers.

He stated that the state industries secretary held a virtual meeting with the associations. The MSMEs have also demanded the state and central governments to defer the payments of the electricity bills, employees' salary compensation under ESIC, and boosting the public sectors' purchases from the MSME sector.