Industry needs to reset relations with workers, says Nirmala Sitharaman

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | Photo: Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman | File photo | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint

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New Delhi: Industry needs to reset its relations with workers and also consider a professional way to engage unskilled workers, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday in view of the COVID-19 crisis.

“Mindsets in industry need to set examples in handling workers in a way that is acceptable to all,” She said during an interaction with members of Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which is marking 125 years of its existence in 2020.

Asserting that the government trusts industry fully and comprehensively, she emphasised the need to reset its relations with workers and consider a professional manner in terms for engaging unskilled workers.

The industry should also strive to work towards the skilling of employees at all levels, CII quoted her as saying in a statement.

To a question regarding the MSME sector, she said that even before COVID-19 crisis unfolded, clear handholding was announced for MSMEs and NBFCs to help enterprises in rural areas.

She stated that credit availability for additional term loan and working capital loan was intended to reach out to all MSMEs, and hence the government has provided a guarantee to banks to overcome hesitation in lending.

When the government provides full and partial guarantees with a special purpose vehicle post lockdown, the bank hesitation has been addressed, she said.

Responding to a question on agriculture, the Finance Minister mentioned that comprehensive reforms have been announced.

Three model Acts have been shared with state governments and many states have commenced working on land reforms.

The National Infrastructure Pipeline will be given a big push in order to create demand with a multiplier effect and large projects will be frontloaded, which will bring in positive energy and sentiments, she said.

The Finance Minister noted that there has been a fair and open interaction on GST which has come to the bottom quarter in inflows and discussions are underway on this.

She asserted that infusion of Rs 90,0000 crore liquidity in the power sector would be fast-tracked.

Concerns that large industries too are facing a lot of stress, particularly in sectors such as tourism, automotives and aviation, were also discussed.

Discussions need to be undertaken to protect jobs, increase demand, and ensure survival of large businesses, the statement said.

The interaction saw the participation of Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey, Economic Affairs Secretary Tarun Bajaj, Financial Services Secretary Debasish Panda and Expenditure Secretary T V Somanathan, among others.

Also read: Sitharaman says more support measures not ruled out but will depend on how pandemic evolves


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