July 2016 News

Eid Bonanza For Flood-hit Businesses

4 July 2016
The Tribune (Chandigarh)

Srinagar: Ahead of the upcoming Eid festival, the state government is releasing cash relief to the flood-affected 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 on Tuesday. The funds would be transferred directly to the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. Minister for Finance Haseeb A Drabu, at a meeting here today, said that the interest subvention for traders under the Prime Minister's development package would also be distributed. 'The state government will give 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,' Drabu said. He said the state government would audit the accounts once the funds were disbursed to avoid any fiscal mismanagement. The Finance Minister said the state government would also start releasing funds to provide one-time waiver to farmers who had availed loans under the Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, subject to a maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh. He said the account had to be standard on August 31, 2014, and balance on March 31, 2015, would be taken into consideration. In another major decision, the Finance Minister, following up his Budget speech announcement, today decided to release funds for one-time settlement of loans of houseboat owners. Drabu was told that the beneficiaries of the scheme, with an outstanding amount of Rs 48 crore, had been identified and the funds would be released from Tuesday. The Finance Minister also released interest subvention component in respect of Artisans Credit Cards, pending since 2011. The settlement would pose an outgo of Rs 26 crore which would be released from Tuesday. He also called for revising the scheme under which 10 per cent of the interest is borne by the government while 2.5 per cent is charged on the artisan. The meeting also discussed the financial package for West Pakistan refugees (WPR). According to officials, over 36,000 WPR families would be given Rs 5.5 lakh per family as an immediate financial assistance under the 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,' Drabu said.