Srinagar, Sep 20 (UNI) National Conference (NC) has termed the newly announced economic package of Rs 1,350 crore for revival of local economy as ‘a crude joke’, saying the package is too diminutive to cover the whooping 45,000 crore losses to J&K economy. Meanwhile, Federation Chamber of Industries Kashmir (FCIK) welcomed the economic revival package though stressed that it was limited to only some measures and lot has been left out.
“The so-called revival package for the economy is just hogwash to hoodwink people,” NC spokesperson Imran Nabi Dar said. He said the losses incurred by the industries sector post August 5 last year clamp down and succeeding COVID-19 induced lockdown has broken the back of J&K’s economy. “As per the figures given out by Kashmir’s various economic bodies, Kashmir economy suffered a loss of over Rs 40,000 crore and the recompense is just paltry Rs 1,350 crore. And out of this Rs 1,350 crore, a major chunk of the money has been earmarked to waive off the impending bills. This too is hogwash; in reality the government has only given 50 per cent rebate on the basic electricity agreement of only Industrial units and not on the actual bill which amounts to lakhs which the local industrial unit’s holders cannot afford in wake of the major slump the sector is facing since August 5 last year,” he said.
He said this by no yardstick can cover the losses various sectors suffered which are reeling under immense losses. “They expected huge relief from the government in the form of big tax waivers on various components, but that has not been done. On the contrary the entire package has turned out to be damp squib,” he said.
Imran said the ailing industrial sector is not able to pay for the amount overdue to banks. “Have the banks stopped taking installments on the loans? The answer is no. The lack of revenue will unfortunately turn the already struggling industrial sector to Non Performing assets in wake of diminishing earnings. The need of the hour called for 100% debt relief with interest subvention on incipient debts and preexisting ones also. Scores of budding entrepreneurs too are at the point of bankruptcy due to the diminishing returns,” he said.
“The revival package is mute on the reverses suffered by the horticulture and agriculture sector due to the vagaries of weather, post August clamp down and succeeding lock down. The losses to horticulture due to weather vagaries was declared a national calamity, yet the recompense being doled out to them by the government was nothing comparable to the amount of actual losses, which the administration in its preliminary assessment had maintained was more than 50 per cent,” he said.
There is nothing substantial for the transport sector as well, Imran said while expressing shock over the paltry recompose to transporters. “The announcement has mocked the miseries of the transporters, who are at present in a state of despondency,” he said.
Imran said the entire economic activity in J&K has suffered more reverses than the rest of the country in view of the earlier clampdown. “The announcement is tantamount to rubbing salts into the wounds of people. The situation is still precarious due to the ongoing COVID-19 crises. Unfortunately the government has failed to rise up to the expectations of the people and redress their genuine concerns. The announcement is a plain jugglery of words and numbers,” he said.
Meanwhile, Secretary General FCIK, Ovees Qadir Jamie in a statement said, “We welcome the package, but it is limited to some measures and a lot has been left out.”
“The package has provided 5 per cent interest subvention for six months only; the FCIK has demanded it for full financial year 2020-21,” the statement said.
“Previously, RBI has deferred the installments and interest till Aug 2020 and same has been capitalized and rescheduled; the FCIK has demanded one year deferment shall be implemented for repayments,” it said.
Further, on restructured loans and stress accounts “moratorium of 3 years and repayment schedule of 7-10 years shall be provided along with 5 per cent interest subvention”.
The FCIK welcomed “the pending interest subvention of 2014 and 2016 rehabilitation scheme” but said government has stopped providing the interest subvention to the accounts from 1st April 2019.
At a meeting with the committee framed by LG for revival & relief of business sector for drafting the economic package, the FCIK, according to the statement had demanded “price preference for 15 per cent local industry, release of pending payments for the supplies and works executed by MSMEs, OTS scheme for NPA accounts, delay in reimbursement of GST and the non-cash based GST reimbursement shall be adopted for SGST portion as previously in VAT regime”.
“Further, the FCIK demands waiver of the due payment of lease land rent and the time limit for administrative renewals may be extended for one year like pollution, provisional registration and others,” it said.