April 7, 2020
PHD Chamber organizes Webinar on Impact of Pandemic COVID-19 on Trade & Industry: Way Forward With Shri Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India and H.E. Ashok Kantha, Former Ambassador of India to China
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) organized a Webinar on the Impact of Pandemic COVID-19 on Trade & Industry: Way Forward on Monday, 6th April 2020. The objective of the webinar was to discuss the issues and challenges faced by trade and industry due to the rapid spread of pandemic COVID-19 and suggestive measures to facilitate trade and industry in this extremely difficult time.
The webinar was addressed by Shri Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India and H.E. Shri Ashok Kantha, Former Ambassador of India to China. It was co-hosted with the members of the American Chamber of Commerce (AMCHAM-India). The webinar received extensive participation of more than 150 senior industry members from the MSMEs, logistics, air cargo, pharmaceuticals, trade, technology, among others.
Dr D K Aggarwal, President, PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, while welcoming all the participants of the webinar expressed his sincere thanks to Shri Sanjay Chadha and H.E. Ashok Kantha for taking out time for the webinar.
We sincerely appreciate the proactive measures and hard work undertaken by the Government, especially by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry for constantly addressing the issues of trade and industry, particularly the smooth movement of goods during the lockdown period due to pandemic COVID-19, said Dr Aggarwal.
Dr. Aggarwal also shared the various issues faced by trade and industry including the MSME Sector during these difficult times and gave suggestions to support trade and industry in these extremely difficult times. He also urged the Government to positively consider the various sectoral representations submitted by PHD Chamber to the respective Ministries.
There are more than 700 districts in India out of which around 400 districts have not been impacted by pandemic COVID-19. We suggest to resume economic activities in unaffected districts after the 21-day lockdown period is over, said Dr D K Aggarwal.
He suggested that export units should be allowed to move their goods that are ready for shipment from the factories to the ICD/ports otherwise even these will be cancelled leading to huge losses. In many states there is lockdown and office staff are not able to prepare export documents. Therefore, one or two persons from each company should be allowed to go to office to take care of essential work and deliver documents to banks.
In view of the 50% waiver on Demurrage charges applicable on import air cargo as announced by the Government, he suggested for 100% demurrage wavier from the terminal operators and that the period also needs to be enhanced from 15th March to 22nd April as it will take one week to resume proper operations at airports after the lockdown period gets over by 14th April 2020. He further suggested the Government to issue a circular to 100% waive off the demurrage charges on export shipments as well since there are a lot of shipments that are lying at various Airports which could not fly out of India since Government stopped all International flights.
For the support of MSMEs amidst the wake of pandemic COVID-19, he suggested the Government to set up a pandemic COVID-19 Distress Fund of Rs.25,000 crore for MSMEs to provide assistance to those units which get severely affected by the impact of lock down. Further, he requested the Government to impress upon all PSUs and Government Departments including Railways, Health Ministry, AYUSH Ministry, BHEL, Electricity Boards etc to release payments to the MSMEs and other vendors urgently to facilitate the industry to run their factories after the lock-down.
Shri Sanjay Chadha, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, took note of all the issues and challenges faced by trade and industry and assured full-fledged support by the Government for resuming economic activities and revitalize trade and industry.
While appreciating PHD Chamber for its proactive participation in providing inputs and suggestions on the issues and challenges faced by the industry, Shri Sanjay Chadha said the inputs will significantly help the Government in formulating an economic package for the industry amid the spread pf pandemic COVID-19 in the country.
H.E. Ashok Kantha, Former Ambassador of India to China, while appreciating PHD chamber for providing a platform to interact with its members, expressed his concern over the supply chain disruptions faced by the Indian industry during these trying times.
The immediate objective is to control the spread of pandemic COVID-19, resume economic activity and sustain India’s economic growth. Gradually, we must move towards the revival of the economy after the lockdown period is over, said H.E. Kantha.
Shri Saurabh Sanyal, Secretary-General of PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry, expressed his sincere thanks to Shri Sanjay Chadha and H.E. Ashok Kantha for their participation in the webinar.
The economic relief measures will go a long way to mitigate the impact of pandemic COVID-19 on trade and industry in the country, said Shri Saurabh Sanyal.
PHD Chamber of Commerce and Industry