He said the government had recognized in Parliament the closure of 9 percent of small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the pandemic.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Friday criticized the government over the issue of closing MSMEs during the Covid pandemic, saying it means “benefit” to friends and a lack of jobs in a weak economy. He said the government had recognized in Parliament the closure of 9 percent of small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) during the pandemic.

“I have asked some serious questions from the government about MSMEs and in response they acknowledged that nine percent of MSMEs have closed their doors during the Covid Times period. Benefit for friends, weak economy and employment termination,” Gandhi said in a tweet in Hindi. He also shared the government’s written response to his question in Lok Sabha on Thursday. National Small Industries Ltd. conducted an online survey in August 2020, covering around 5,774 MSMES in 32 countries/UTs to assess the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on MSMES. In its written response to Gandhi’s question, the government said, in the said survey it was found that 91 per cent of MSMES were operating and 9 per cent of MSMES had closed due to the impact of COVID-19.

She also said the Reserve Bank of India had reported that the country’s data on NPA in the MSME sector was not available with them. “The National Crime Records Office reported that according to published reports, a total of 9,052 self-employed (business) committed suicide in 2019, and a total of 11,716 self-employed (business) committed suicide in 2020. The office of the Minister of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises said, Narayan Rani, in his written response to Gandhi’s question: “Does not categorize data on suicide by small and medium business owners and small and medium separately.”

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