The Federation of Industries and Associations in the state on Friday threatened to boycott the Vibrant Gujarat summit, scheduled to be held in January 2019, if their demands of MSMEs being equated with larger corporates and foreign players are not met.
Attacking the “ease of doing business rankings” of the state, the FIA — an umbrella organisation of 110 smaller associations active in various industrial estates in the state — issued an official release and said that it takes at least four years for a smaller player to set up business in the state.
FIA plans to organise a meeting of all associations on December 16 in Ahmedabad, where they plan to pass a resolution to boycott the Vibrant Gujarat event if their pleas are not addressed by the state government. The official release of the association has also stated that under extreme circumstances, they would even propose at the meeting to keep their units shut when the three-day summit is underway.
Talking to The Indian Express, president of Gujarat FIA Prabodh Patel said, “The situation of MSMEs in state in not a rosy one. We want to tell the government to equate us with larger industries and foreign ones. Give us equal consideration as we have been in the state for the last 40 years.”
According to him MSME units in the state — especially those planning to set up units in GIDCs — take at least four years to get various permissions like getting the plans passed, environment clearances, water and electricity, etc.
“I want to say that we are not against the government or the Vibrant Gujarat summit. We are not against the state government’s move to attract large industries and foreign players. All I am asking is that do not forget us. While most of us support the BJP, we still face problems getting our issues resolved,” Patel said, claiming that representatives from the MSME sector have not been heard by the government despite repeated representations.
Patel further said that of the state government resolves the issues faced by the MSME sector, FIA would call off the meeting planned for December.
FIA is the second industrial association after GCCI (Gujarat Chamber of Commerce and Industry) to publicly state the deteriorating condition of MSMEs in Gujarat.
Last week, GCCI had pointed out that attacks on migrant labour, ban on plastics and hurdles posed by the implementation of GST have had a crippling effect on the MSME sector in Gujarat. It had said that the production in this sector has dipped by 40 per cent in the last 18 months.