50 pc waiver of fixed charges in electricity, water tariff
STATE TIMES NEWSSRINAGAR: Meeting his earlier commitment made with the business community, Lieutenant Governor, Manoj Kumar Sinha on Saturday announced a mega relief and revival package of Rs 1350 crore to help the J&K business sector to tide over their problems.At a press conference in Srinagar, the Lt Governor announced a package of measures, both financial and non-financial, aimed at helping business and entrepreneurs.Lt Governor also stated that the first part of overall economic package came from Government of India in terms of Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan. He said that so far Rs 1400 crore has already been provided through JK Bank and other banks under this Abhiyan. He added that it has many components which seek to help business entities in multiple ways such as provision of liquidity and other financial supports. He said that many welfare measures such as free rations and support to the most needy were also being provided.The Lt Governor said that the main component of today’s package is 5 % interest subvention to all borrowers irrespective of their sizes, which would cost about Rs 950 crore. The interest subvention will be available for six months in the current financial year and it will be a huge relief in the current scenario.Lt Governor went on to say that the government has also decided to provide 50 % waiver of fixed charges for one year with respect to electricity and water which would cost Rs 105 crore. He said that they have also decided to assist bus drivers/conductors, auto/taxi drivers etc who may have lost their livelihood by providing for an appropriate mechanism.Further 50% or Rs 5.00 lakh subsidy whichever is lower shall provided to the transporters for replacement of old buses and the insurance premium shall be borne by the Government subject to maximum of Rs 5000 per vehicle for Buses/Mini Buses, Rs 3000 for taxes/sumos and Rs 2000 for three wheelers.For the Tourism Sector, subsidy for installation of Bio-digesters in the houseboats has been announced. Assistance shall also be extended out of ‘JK Relief Fund’ to some 19914 Shikara/House Boat owners/Tourist Guides/Pithuwalas/Dandiwalas/Sledge Walas/Pony/Camel Riders and cash assistance of Rs 1000 to all of them given from last 3 months shall be extended for further 06 months ending 31st December, 2020.There are more than 3100 artists who have lost their livelihood during the pandemic. The artists associated with the cultural academy shall be paid Rs 1000 per month out of ‘JK Relief Fund’ for a period of 09 months w.e.f 1st April, 2020.The comprehensive ‘Business Revival Package’ also includes newly rolled out special Covid schemes like Guaranteed Emergency Credit Loan (GECL), Working Capital Demand Loan (WCDL) facility for Private Educational Institutions. J&K Business Support Loan Scheme for hotels and guest houses shall be rolled out on similar lines. Considering the loss suffered by the business community, there shall be extension of additional funding to all eligible borrowers for revival of their stalled business under Guaranteed emergency credit loan.For the agriculture sector, district level bankers committee shall be constituted to ensure loan coverage for agriculture and allied non-farm activities under Mudra loans. Meetings will be organised every month to overcome difficulties faced by the borrowers.Moreover J&K Bank shall frame a customised “Help Tourism” scheme for financial assistance to persons associated with the Tourism Sector with attractive pricing and repayment features. All stakeholders shall be taken on board for any modifications.As far as tax concessions are concerned, the filing of the GST reimbursement claims has also been extended till 31st December, 2020. Hand Holding to remove difficulties in filing returns and mechanisms to avoid delays in reimbursement claims shall be instituted. The accumulated interest shall be converted into funded interest term loan.A number of administrative measures for different economic sectors are part of this mega package to improve the business environment.Advisor to Lt Governor, KK Sharma; Chief Secretary, BVR Subrahmanyam; Financial Commissioner, Arun Kumar Mehta; Principal Secretary PDD & Information, Rohit Kansal; Principal Secretary to Lt Governor, Nitishwar Kumar; Principal Secretary, Industries & Commerce, MK Dwivedi and Director Information & Public Relations, Dr Syed Sehrish Asgar were also present at the press conference.
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