Union Minister for MSME and Road Transport and Highway Nitin Gadkari assured the footwear industry that all possible support from the government will be given to the sector to tide over the challenges created by the lockdown imposed to curb the spread of Covid-19.

In an interaction with the representatives of Confederation of Indian Footwear Industries via video conferencing from Nagpur, he said that the government’s move to release over 5,204 crore to MSMEs as refund from Income Tax Department is a step in this direction. He urged the footwear industry to work upon import substitution and make use of the opportunity for export.

According to an official statement,”During the meeting, the representatives of the footwear industry expressed concerns regarding lack of working capital, logistics, availability of raw material, workspace conditions, continuity of business operations and impact on demand amid Covid-19 pandemic and requested the government to take supportive measures to keep the sector afloat.”

“Further it was also highlighted that even after the lockdown, production will start gradually and will take few months to reach to full capacity which would lead to issues of excess of raw material,” it added.

Gadkari also assured that relevant issues will be discussed with the Finance and Commerce Ministries for immediate relief for the sector.

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