An online survey conducted by National Small Industries Corporation Ltd found that about 9 percent of micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) have closed down as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, minister Narayan Rane said.
In a written reply to a question by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, Rane said that an online survey conducted in August last year covering around 5,744 MSMEs in 32 states/UTs found that 91 percent of them were functional while 9 percent had closed due to COVID-19 impact.
Asked about the alarming increase in number of suicides by MSME business owners, Rane said that as per National Crime Records Bureau, a total of 9,052 business owners committed suicides in 2019, while the number increased to 11,716 in 2020.
On the question about providing support to MSMEs, the minister said loans amounting to Rs 2.82 lakh crore have been sanctioned to businesses, including MSMEs under Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme.
Under this scheme, around 29 percent of the total beneficiaries are micro enterprises, he said.
The micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) contribute 29 percent to the country's GDP. The sector is among the worst hit by the pandemic.
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Meanwhile, Lok Sabha proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on December 16 amid protests by opposition members demanding sacking of Union Minister Ajay Mishra in connection with the Lakhimpur Kheri violence.
As the Speaker called Rahul Gandhi, to ask questions related to the MSME sector that was listed against his name, the Congress member demanded removal of Mishra from the council of ministers.
"You are a senior member. You ask the question number 262. You will be given adequate time to ask the question you have listed for Question Hour," the Speaker said.
With Gandhi ignoring the suggestion to stick to the listed question, the Speaker moved on to the next question. As the sloganeering continued, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings.