Tamil Nadu Association for Cottage and Mirco Enterprises (TACT) has appealed to the State Government to constitute a “safety committee” for the cottage and tiny industries. In a release here, the association president, J. James, has said that the committee should include representatives of the industries and workers. It should co-ordinate with the District Industries Centre and help the smaller units affected by the slowdown avail of assistance under various schemes.
Several small-scale units were stopping production as job orders had come down and the units were unable to repay the loans. Mr. James said the Government should issue directions to private and nationalised banks to give the borrowers two years time repay the interest and loans. In order to pay wages to the workers and meet the maintenance expenses of the industries, the entrepreneurs were taking loans from private financiers at high interest rates. Mr. James said the Government should provide interest-free loans up to Rs. 10 lakh to the micro and cottage industries so that they repay their debts.
Further, since January 1, 2009, the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board was collecting 50 per cent additional charges from units that were consuming more than 2,000 units a month. Most of the micro units were functioning in rented premises that had a common electricity connection. The consumption ceiling should be revised and the board should not levy additional charges as the units were already hit by the economic slowdown, he said. The association would participate in a meeting with the District Industries Centre and the National Small Industries Corporation on February 17 to help the members get assistance for machinery.