After battering Odisha’s eastern coast near Puri, Cyclone Fani has hit operations of 50,000 micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs).
“MSME units in the districts of Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Kendrapara, and Jagatsinghpur have been the worst victims. At a conservative estimate, 50,000 MSMEs have been affected by Fani. The extent of loss of production and properties is pegged at Rs 4,000 crore,” said Ramesh Mohapatra, president of Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI).
UCCI has sought easing of interest rates on loans, relaxation on application of GST and partial waiver of loan and grant of subsidy for reviving MSMEs hit by the cyclone.
In a letter to chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the industry association has urged for waiver of demand charges on electricity bill for at least a month and electricity duty exemption for a minimum of three months. In addition, the apex chamber has sought grant of rehabilitation subsidy for MSME units.
Banks may be advised to recast loans, waive interest for at least three months, and sanction required funds to MSME units for restoration, UCCI suggested in its letter.
In addition, the chamber has also requested the state government for enhancement of capital investment subsidy to Rs 1 crore under the agriculture policy for restoration and reconstruction of layer poultry farms devastated by the cyclone.