'Expect the government to broaden the MSME umbrella'

Budget 2021 | Expect the government to broaden the MSME umbrella, says BluePi Consulting CEO

Representative image. Credit: iStock.

By Pronam Chatterjee,

"Retail industry came to a virtual standstill during the pandemic and was one of the worst-hit sectors. The cascading effects impacted the entire value chain that serves the industry.

The festive season has shown signs of recovery with major retailers recuperating to around 90% of pre-covid sales. But the recovery is still nascent and not strong enough to carry on without support. A few things that we expect from the budget are measures to improve the disposable income in the short term, by reducing the tax burden and thereby spurring demand. The supply side of the value chain also needs to be supported by easing retailers' access to capital.

Ease of doing business and access to capital should be the focus area for the retail sector in this budget. MSME does not cover the retail trading that constitutes a bulk of retailers; if they are not manufacturing. On the other hand, the garment manufacturers are considered MSME, but without a special package that assists them with working capital, they would also be left high and dry. So we expect the government to broaden the MSME umbrella and announce special packaged for retailers under MSME so that they can tide over these challenging times."

(The author is CEO, BluePi Consulting Pvt. Ltd.)