Jammu and Kashmir
April 27: Extending major relief to September -2014 flood affected traders/business units, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti accorded sanction to the grant of 5% interest subvention w.e.f 1st April, 2016 with a cap of Rs 5 Lac per unit for a period of four years.
This means subsidizing interest on loan to flood hit traders/ business to an extent of 5% starting from 1st April-2016 to 31st December-2020.
Cabinet sanctioned the second tranche of assistance proposed to be given to small traders and business establishments who have been given start up incentive with turn over upto Rs 10 Lac.
This interest subvention assistance also extends to such affected business units having existing linkage with the banks but may have not availed the Special Rehabilitation Package as approved by SLBC in its meeting held on 23rd September- 2014 and also do not figure in the list of units identified by the concerned Divisional Commissioners.
To ensure proper implementation of the interest subvention assistance scheme, Cabinet ordered constitution of a High Level Coordination Committee headed by Chief Secretary and comprising representatives of Relief & Rehabilitation department, Finance department, Planning & Development department, Industries & Commerce department, J&K Bank (SLBC) and or any other appropriate agency.
The Committee shall meet on monthly basis and ensure that only genuine traders/self employed business units have been covered by the banks under the scheme, ensure proper end utilization of the released assistance, consider mid course corrections/changes in the modalities of implementation based on feedback from relevant stakeholders and take proper action to redress grievances of traders /business units.
To make the institutions of Lambardars and Chowkidars productive and useful in the present system of governance, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti enhanced the honorarium of Lambardars and Chowkidars from Rs 751 to Rs 1501 and Rs 750 to Rs 1500 respectively.
In the Budget 2015-16, Finance Minister had made an announcement regarding redefining the roles of Lambardars and Chowkidars in view of the changed scenario coupled with suitable enhancement in their honoraria. To deliberate upon the issue, Finance Minister had proposed setting up of a Committee that shall examine the issues and submit recommendations related to making Lambardars and Chowkidars productive functionaries in the existing system of self governance, when Panchayats across the State have been established.
After threadbare discussions with the various stakeholders, the Committee had submitted its report and recommendations, for consideration of the Cabinet.
Cabinet directed the Revenue, Relief & Rehabilitation department to also notify the new enhanced roles and functions of Lambardars and Chowkidars.
To take the cross LoC trade to the next level, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti endorsed the proposed institutional mechanism to provide banking facilities to traders for conducting their business across the LoC.
The banking mechanism will help the trade to grow much faster and enable import and export of listed commodities at a larger scale and faster pace. It will address the regulatory aspects related to the trade between India and Pakistan.
The Commercial banks in Jammu & Kashmir and Pakistan occupied Kashmir would provide a facility to their respective exporters to realize their dues by opening a Trade Facilitation Account at their end. The initial debit and final credit by the exporter’s bank would be through the facilitation account.
The facilitation account will enable the banks to charge handling/documentation/interest charges. It will also afford a cushion to the banks to bear exchange loss on bank’s books depending on the exchange rate movement.
On credit basis model, the exporter will get the money on day one with the bank debiting facilitation account and parting with its funds until they are paid by the importer and the amount is credited to the Nostro account. Interest payable for transactions based on credit shall be included in the facilitation fee. The facilitation fee, for credit based transactions would include interest, documentation charges and handling charges etc.
Transactions shall be possible on collection basis as well bills purchased/discounted/collected basis. No interest shall be payable on transactions done on collection basis.
The goods shall be invoiced in exporter’s domestic currency. Hence, there is no exchange risk for the exporters. Any exchange risk shall be borne by the importer.
The settlement would be done in US Dollar with the cross rates between the two currencies arrived via dollar.
To enable an informed and judicious view on the issue of regularization of around 61,000 casual labourers/ workers, the Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti ordered instituting a fast track system for Aadhar based biometric identification and skill profiling of all CSLWs within three months.
The exercise shall enable authentication of data regarding casual labourers and to avoid duplication. The CSLWs include a wide range of categories of the Daily Rated Workers (DRW), Casual Labourers etc.
The Cabinet which met here today under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister, Ms Mehbooba Mufti gave nod to the proposal regarding reorientation and reorganization of the Planning and Development department with the aim to ensure focused monitoring of public expenditure, timely preparation of DPRs and close monitoring of development projects.
Accordingly, as per the proposal, the Planning and Development department shall become Planning & Monitoring Department.
The need for change was necessitated following the replacement of Planning Commission of India by NITI Aayog and acceptance of the 14thFinance Commission recommendations by the Union Government, with long term ramifications as regards the planning process in the State. Under the new framework, Revenue Expenditure and Capital Expenditure Budget have been separated from last year and the process of rationalization will continue over the current year.
Similarly, in terms of a more effective delivery strategy for inclusive and balanced regional development, the State Government needs to lay stress on alternate systems of delivery of development programmes and public services: particularly execution of projects under the Public Private Partnership (PPP) mode. Moreover, there is an equally pressing need for making the development process environment friendly and responsive to the needs of people living in far flung and difficult areas besides there is also a need to have a full fledged project formulation division with capacities to identify and arrange the services of consultants as may be required for preparation of DPRs.
In these circumstances, a strong need was felt to reorient the Planning & Development Department on certain key aspects relating to the development process in the State.