Govt announces Eid bonanza for flood-hit businesses

Govt announces Eid bonanza for flood-hit businesses

SRINAGAR, JULY 4: Ahead of the upcoming Eid festival, the State Government is releasing cash relief to the flood-affected and impacted businesses including traders, farmers, artisans, houseboat owners and others who were hit by the September 2014 deluge.

The Chief Minister is going to set the cash-relief disbursement process rolling tomorrow and the funds will be transferred directly into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries.

A high-level meeting was chaired by the Minister of Finance, Dr Haseeb A Drabu today at the civil secretariat here against the backdrop of the decisions taken to address the concerns of the flood-hit people of the State.

The Finance Minister said that the interest subvention for traders under the Prime Minister’s Development Package will be distributed from today.

“The State Government will give the money to banks for disbursal to the flood-hit traders. The only condition for availing the interest subsidy is that the beneficiary account must have been standard as on August 31, 2014 with a maximum limit of Rs 5 lakh,” Dr Drabu said.

He said the State Government will do an audit of the accounts once the funds are disbursed to avoid any fiscal mismanagement.

The Finance Minister said the State Government will also start releasing funds to provide one-time waiver to farmers who had availed loans under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, subject to a maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh. He said the account has to be standard on August 31, 2014 and balance on March 31, 2015 will be taken into consideration.

In another major decision, the Finance Minister, as a follow up to the announcement in the budget speech, today decided to release funds for one-time settlement of loans of Houseboat Owners. Dr Drabu was told that the beneficiaries of the scheme, which outstanding is Rs 48 crores, have been identified and the funds will be released from tomorrow.

The Finance Minister also released interest subvention component in respect of Artisans Credit Cards, pending since 2011. The settlement will pose an outgo of Rs 26 crore which will be released fromtomorrow. The Finance Minister also called for revising the scheme under which 10 percent of the interest is borne by the government while 2.5 percent is charged on the artisan.

The meeting also discussed the financial package for West Pakistan refugees. According to officials, over 36000 WPR families will be given Rs 5.5 lakh per family as immediate financial assistance under central package, “The process for disbursal of funds has been started. Once the GoI releases the funds, it will be immediately disbursed among the beneficiaries,” Dr Drabu said.

The meeting was also attended by Minister for Revenue, Relief and Rehabilitation, Mr Basharat Bukhari, Chairman J&K Bank, Mushtaq Ahmad, Financial Commissioner (Planning and Development Department), BB Vyas, Navin K Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary (Finance), Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Shah, and Commissioner Secretary (Industries) Shailendra Kumar, besides other officers of the State Government.

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