SRINAGAR: In a well-attended press conference, Lt Governor Manoj Sinha said the central government has agreed to Rs 1350 crore economic package. This will help people in diverse economic activities.
The package, he said is coming under Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan under which Jammu and Kashmir has already been given around Rs 6000 crore in diverse fields. However, there were various missing elements that have been taken care of.
Sinha said that the businesses impacted by the situation and later in floods in 2014 and 2016 were promised the interest subvention but weren’t given. Under the just accepted package, this will be taken care of. Till March 2021, the administration has exempted the bank borrowers from paying stamp duty in case they make any land transfer. There will be five per cent interest subvention to all borrowers from the business for the six months of 2020.
Lt Governor said they have already created a huge land bank that will be helpful in managing the quick rollout of the new industrial policy. Warehousing will be given a better focus and for that and will be provided, he said.
The LG proclaimed that the first part of the 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 declared that it has many components which seek to help business entities in multiple ways such as the provision of liquidity and equity etc as envisaged under Golrolled out Atma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan.
The LG continued that the main component of today’s package is 5% interest subvention to all borrowers irrespective of their size which would cost about Rs 950 crore. This is in line with the concept of Sabka Sath Sabka Vishvas. The interest subvention will be available for six months in the current financial year and I hope this will be a huge relief in the current scenario.
He went on to say that the government has also decided to provide 50% waiver for one year with respect to electricity and water charges which would costRsl05 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 appropriate mechanism.
Further 50% or Rs 5.00 lakh subsidy whichever is lower shall be provided to the transporters for replacement of old buses and the insurance premium shall be borne by the Government subject to a 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. Out of ‘JK Relief Fund’ some 19914 Shikara/House Boat owners/Tourist Guides/Pifhuwala/Dandiwalas/Sledge Walas/Pony/Camel Riders the 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(CWDL) 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 upto 20% additional funding to all eligible borrowers for the revival of their stalled business under Guaranteed emergency credit loan.
For the agriculture sector, the 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 the difficulties faced by the borrowers.
Moreover, J&K Bank shall frame customised “Help Tourism” scheme for financial assistance to persons associated with the Tourism Sector with attractive pricing and repayment features, all stakeholders to 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.Handholding to remove difficulties and delay in reimbursement claims. The accumulated interest shall be converted into a funded interest term loan.
The different administrative measure for different economic sectors making part of this mega package to improve business environment includes:
Banking related Measures:
- The bank will enhance powers to sanction loan by branch heads as per laid down procedures.
- Finance Department will write to all banks to cover loans for agriculture and allied non-farm activities under MUDRA loans e.g. pisciculture, bee keeping, poultry, dairy, livestock-rearing, grading, sorting, aggregation agro industries, fishery, agri-clinics and agri-business centers, food & agro processing etc. District level bankers committee to ensure implementation by holding one meeting every month and report to UTLBC regularly for supervising progress in the matter.
- Customised “Help Tourism” scheme by J&K Bank for financial assistance to persons associated with the Tourism Sector with attractive pricing and repayment features.
- For working capital loan there will be 2 guarantors instead of 3. J&K Bank shall make necessary changes if permitted under the regulatory framework.
- JK bank will work out a cluster financing scheme as per local demands.
Finance related Measures:
- Delay in the payments to industries and suppliers shall be monitored by a Committee having members as Administrative Secretaries of RDD, I&C Department, PDD & PW (R&B) Department as members under the overall supervision of Financial Commissioner, Finance.
- The date of filing of GST reimbursement claims up to the period 31.12.2019 shall be extended to 31st December 2020 provided that the units have filed up to date returns.
- Workshops for awareness of NPA and GEM shall be held in 20 districts to be jointly organized by the Finance Department and J&K Bank.
- Sunset period, budgetary support/GST refunds for all manufacturing units to avoid disparity will be examined by the Finance Department and suggest a mechanism to avoid disparity among manufacturing units.
- Stamp duty exempted upto March 2021 in case of all borrowers.
- Buyer seller meet shall be organized by the Industries & Commerce Department at both the provinces, especially export-oriented handicrafts, round the year. Buyer -seller meet shall be organised for encouraging participation of local industries in the handicraft sector and other allied sectors and for suppliers to cantonments.
- Land bank will be set up exclusively for the establishment of food park clusters.
- Ease of Doing Business- a single window portal will be setup and online clearances introduced.
- Land shall be provided in the industrial estates for the establishment of the warehouses.
- I&C shall conduct a comprehensive diagnostic study for solving Industry related problems and furnish a report within 3 months.
- I&C Department shall provide online facility, display and promotion space for carpet organizations and others to promote their products. Promotion activities shall be made a regular feature for two times a year at both Jammu and Srinagar.
- Export promotion board will be set up in consultation with the stakeholders within 03 months.
- Loan slab under Credit Card Scheme for handlooms and handicrafts will be enhanced from Rs 1.00 lakh to Rs 2.00 Lakhs with interest subvention of 7%.
- Online renewal and registration system for transporters/hoteliers shall be put in place.
- Banks will extend every possible support to houseboat owners, tour & travel operators and shikarawalas and frame a customized scheme for their working capital requirements in consultation with the concerned associations.
- All renewals of Registration of Hotels, Restaurants and the like shall be done in a time-bound manner.
Housing and Urban Development:
- STPs of Srinagar will be completed in time bound manner providing relief to Hotels.
- Building permissions will be given in a time-bound manner within 3 months.
Agriculture/Horticulture and allied sectors:
- Farmer Producer Organisations will be increased with market linkages.
- Suitable space for passenger taxi and auto stands will be organized to avoid traffic congestion.
Handloom and Handicraft:
- Handicraft Cluster centres will be set up in specified zones.
- Handloom parks will be created in J&K and possibilities for the development of handloom parks outside J&K will be explored.
- Registration of Instruments will be done by the Revenue Department on daily basis, and not more than 07 days.
- Special desk shall be created to address youth and women entrepreneurs in the J&K Bank. The facility shall be put in place by the J&K Bank by ist of October 2020.
- Exclusive market space will be created for women entrepreneurs.
- Creation of Portal for unemployed Youth- A one-stop solution with a tie-up with employment portals and employers on the same platform will be done.
- Renewal of registration of Schools will be done in a time-bound manner and affiliation process with the CBSE board shall be eased out to have more CBSE school registrations.
- Frequent national and international events shall be organised by the Youth Service and Sports Department to have wide participation. High-end events will encourage tourism sector and improve the economy of the UT. In addition to the financial package and administrative measures, the government has also constituted few committees to look deep into the issues of the trader’s community and resolve them as per the current needs and their demands. These include:A committee headed by Administrative Secretary I&C Department with the representative of the Finance Department will propose the issuance of a simplified negative list for industrial incentives within 03 months.Committee to be constituted for settlement of Bank, Finance and Industry issues with association representatives as members to be chaired by Finance Department.
Constitution of committees in each Province/District involving members of the business associations to address their issues which shall meet every month at the district level and every two months at the provincial level to settle issues of the business community. The committees shall have representatives from I&C/Finance/Banks as its members
- Under the new scheme, the artisans working in handloom and handicraft sector and entitled to a low-cost loan of one lakh rupee will be entitled to two lakh rupees. Besides, Jammu and Kashmir Bank has been asked to do something on the youth enterprise front.