Extraordinary times need extraordinary measures and there’s no doubt about it given the current situation that we are in with the outbreak of COVID-19. It isn’t that mankind has faced disaster in the form of tsunami, drought, famine, or a market collapse. All these are restricted by time or geographical limits but no such limitations apply to the pandemic that we are facing as we prepare for a long overhaul.
The present situation throws up fresh challenges to the economy, and is causing disruptive impact on both the demand as well as the supply chains across various sectors. With the widespread fear gripping the people and the confidence level of consumers dropping significantly, it is believed that the uncertainties could pave way for an economic downturn. However, we see this as a cyclical correction and the industry bodies are closely working with the Government to minimize the impact of this outbreak in the long term. The industry is pushing for relevant monetary, fiscal and financial market measures to help businesses and human resources cope with the crisis.
Measures such as reduction in policy rates, providing special liquidity support for companies, deferring of repayment of loans by six months, giving MSMEs across the board interest rate subvention at 3 percent on standard loans, enhancing working capital credit to MSMEs, etc. can help stem this tide. This will also help us grow stronger in upskilling our workforce, intensify R&D and enhance capacities in indigenous production to reduce dependency on imported goods.
As the dynamics of manufacturing changes, the machine tool industry also needs to brace up to serve strategic sectors such as pharmaceuticals and medical equipment, aerospace, defence, etc., which are considered as sunrise sectors. The industry needs to leverage every opportunity to create a new manufacturing atmosphere in the country.
Indian Machine Tool Manufacturers’ Association (IMTMA) stands with the Government’s decision in cracking down on COVID-19 and lending its total support to the stakeholders from the manufacturing industry.