Sources said that the government announced a 30% capital subsidy over a two-year period for companies ready to manufacture oxygen concentrators, oxygen cylinders and oxygen within TN by August. Similarly, for such investments made between January and November and where production started before November 30, TIIC (TN Industrial Investments Corporation) promised to offer loans at 6% with subsidy, while both SIDCO (Small Industries Development Corporation) and SIPCOT (Small Industries Promotion Council of TN) promised land for such companies on a priority basis.
Several entrepreneurs on condition of anonymity stated, “It will not be a wise move to invest in such projects as the ongoing crisis is a temporary phenomenon. With the existing oxygen production companies themselves finding it difficult to get orders.”
Ranipet Tiny and Small Industries Association secretary L Gandhijothi said, “Ranipet has two plants. But one of them did not get orders from within Ranipet region itself and got business from several customers in Chennai.”
The oxygen supplier is now worried as government has ordered that his supplies be given to it to meet the present shortfall in hospitals. The supplier is concerned about his customers and how to cater to their requirements.
Another issue that is debated is the payment from the government. Sources revealed that the Ranipet supplier was worried as to when he would be paid by the state government for the oxygen supplied. Ranipet unit holders also complained that the district administration in a bid to ensure oxygen cylinder availability had taken away cylinders owned by private units. “We do not know when we will get back our cylinders and will the same number of containers be returned to us,” said an affected entrepreneur.