An economic relief package of Rs 1,350 crore was announced this afternoon for Jammu and Kashmir’s ailing business sector – hit hard by the prolonged coronavirus lockdown – by Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who took oath last month as the union territory’s L-G. A discount of 50 per cent for people of J&K in water and electricity bills for a year is one of the key highlights of today’s announcements, which cover small and medium enterprises, tourism industry, among other sectors.
“We have approved an economic package of Rs 1,350 crores for Jammu and Kashmir’s struggling business community. This is additional to the benefits of the Atmanirbhar Abhiyan, earlier announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” Mr Sinha said as he further stressed that “stamp duty is exempted till March 2021 for all borrowers”.
A new industrial policy will be announced soon to revive the industrial sector, which has suffered huge losses after J&K’s special status under Article 370 was scrapped last year on August 5, the L-G told reporters today.
Last month, he had said a panel will be set up to work out modalities for the economic revival of the union territory and extending support to its business community. Praising the committee, which submitted its report before the deadline (September 1), Mr Sinha this afternoon said: “This is for the first time here in so many years that a committee has submitted the report in the given time frame which was 12 days.”
Shedding light on the latest economic package, he said: “We have decided to give 5 per cent interest subvention to every borrower from the business community, without any conditions, for six months in the current financial year. This will be a huge relief for them and will help in generating employment here.”
“For one year, we will be giving a 50 per cent concession in water and electricity bills. We will be spending Rs 105 crore on this. This will benefit farmers, normal people, businessman and others,” Mr Sinha said.
“Under credit card scheme, we have decided to extend maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh for people working in handloom and handicraft industry. They will also be given 7 per cent interest subvention. From October 1, J&K bank will start a special desk for youth and women enterprises,” the L-G added.