#JKBudget2018: Govt paying one third of interest in flood soaked account cases Rs 200 crore set aside

JAMMU: Admitting the slump in market because of floods, the subsequent disturbances in 2016, demonitization and later by GST takeover, Finance Minister Dr Haseeb Drabu announced series of measures.

September 2014: An aerial view of an inundated Srinagar. KL Image: Special Arrangement

Apart from the existing incentives for which the SROs were already announced, Drabu said the government will provide a suitable incentive that will compensate the industry for the two percent CST exemption, which GST devoured. From its own kitty, the government will fund the freight subsidy and transport manufactured goods upto 1000 kms outside the state.

SGST refund will be available to industry on value addition. He also announced funding the listing of SME on stock exchange and at SME exchange.

From now on, the private sector employers will have to cough up little as processing charges which they were depositing with the J&K Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). The five percent cost has been reduced by 150 basis points, for a start.

In a major decision, hotels have been taken at par with the industry and they will have the same power tariff as the industry from April 2018.

The units which suffered in floods and including all the accounts which banks restructured, the government will pay three instalments of interest from its own kitty. This, Drabu said was done to honour the commitments that Chief Minister has made already. It will be available to all those units which underwent restructuring post-floods. Lending institutions, however, will have to offer a slightly less rate of its advance costs. For a start, Rs 200 cr will go to this new scheme aimed at salvaging flood soaked businesses

Drabu announced an enhanced loan waiver to houseboat owners.

Since the systems have moved to the GST era, Drabu announced a one time waiver to the old accounts on interest and penalty issues involving tax arrears. Some amnesty and concessions were announced in the budget to the SSI sector and also to the transporters. The exact details may be known once the budget speech is distributed to the media persons in the assembly. Drabu is reading his speech.


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