FM’s financial package evokes mixed reaction

No relief to J&K Industry: FOIJ, KCCI

Gopal Sharma

JAMMU, May 13: The Financial Package announced by the Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman for various sectors has evoked mixed reaction in Jammu and Kashmir.
Federation of Industry Jammu (FOIJ) while expressing its concern pointed out that while going through the text of the financial/ relief package announced by Union Finance Minister today, it has been observed that the much awaited relief for MSME Sector of J&K due to impact of COVID-19, is only provided in respect of extension of Provident Fund exemption for next three months, reduction in the Provident Fund rate from 12% to 10%, change in the classification of Micro, Small and Medium enterprises, allocation of more funds for the collateral free loans to MSME sector, Term Loan with the facility to repay the same after 12 months and other relief. Click here to watch video
Lalit Mahajan, chairman of the FOIJ said that the Industrial sector is very disappointed due to no relief provided in respect of re-imbursement of salary/wages of the employees during the lockdown, waiving off the fixed/demand charges of lock down period, Bank interest and other relief which is the need of the hour. He said Rs 80000 crores relief has been provided to private power supply companies whereas, no relief has been provided to J&K Industry in Power sector.
FOIJ appealed to Lt Governor, G C Murmu to provide the instant relief to the Industrial sector of J&K in respect of re-imbursement of salary/wages of lockdown period, wavier on fixed/demand charges of Power bills and Bank interest on working capital loan as already requested.
Kashmir Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI), president, Sheikh Ashiq while reacting to the financial package announced by the Finance Minister today said that Kashmir Industry is suffering badly since August 5, 2019 post abrogation of Article 370 in J&K. Thereafter, the lockdown due to COVID-19 has caused further more damage to not only the Industrial but also trade, tourism, hotel, transport, handicrafts, horticulture and other sectors in Kashmir.
The KCCI president said the issues of the Jammu and Kashmir are quite different than the other States and UTs. Therefore, the Govt of India should not equate J&K with others , by adopting same yardsticks. He said during mid of March this year a delegation of KCCI led by him had met the Union Finance Minister and Home Minister in Delhi and demanded a comprehensive package for Jammu and Kashmir. KCCI had high hopes after this meet but it was discouraging to observe that most of the demands remained unattended while announcing this package by the Prime Minister, whose details were declared by Finance Minister this evening, Sheikh regretted.
PHE Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman (J&K chapter), Rakesh Wazir welcomed the financial package announced today by the Union Finance Minister. He said during recent past their delegation had met the Union Finance Minister and had projected the demand of a comprehensive package to the tune of at least Rs 16 lakh crore for Industry, Hotel, Trade and other sectors. The PHD Chamber hopes that members of various sectors would have a great relief with this assistance of the Modi Government.
Meanwhile, while appreciating Union Government’s announcement of Rs 20 lakh crore stimulus package to help India fighting the Coronavirus pandemic, former DyCM and senior BJP leader Kavinder Gupta said that every effected section of society shall be benefited by the world’s largest economic package and make India revive its economy and become self-reliant.
Gupta added that the package also includes earlier announced relief package of Rs 1.7 lakh crore by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman to help the poor of the country to navigate through the bad times. However, State and Central Government efforts alone will not be enough. Therefore, it is important, for citizens, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) as well as industry leaders, to come together to help the marginalized section.
J&K Pradesh Congress Committee while reacting to the package said that the announcement of PM regarding big package has come out to be totally short of expectations, so far, as instead of direct financial assistance to the most affected labour class and other such categories of poorer sections of society, they have got nothing directly and it has only liberalized loan schemes for the MSME, which is being described as a package.
Reacting to the details of the announcement made today by the Finance Minister, JKPCC chief spokesperson Ravinder Sharma said that the big headlines were made by stating that a big package amounting to ten per cent of GDP, but what has come out is the various liberal loan schemes besides the sum of various already undergoing schemes to make a big figure and to confuse the people. He said very little of the announcement seems as a package being contributed by the Govt, while rest is not a sort of financial package, as has been done in other countries in this situation, to finance the poor and suffering sections.
He said though the measures for the MSME, like liberal loans without collaterals and deferring of EMIs etc, are welcome step but again nothing directly has been given to the poor and labour class, who constitute over Rs 13.50 crores people. He said over 9.40 crore labour class have lost jobs apart from more than one crore salaried class. It was expected that some financial assistance would be given to these categories of people, however, nothing of the sort has happened so far.
Chief patron of J&K National Panthers Party, Prof Bhim Singh viewed the press conference of Union Finance Minister attempting to justify PM Modi’s announcement on Tuesday that Rs 20 lakh crore shall be given as economic package. The Finance Minister failed in totality to justify the PM’s package which he promised yesterday in a special announcement.
Singh described this attempt of the Prime Minister and his Finance Minister as an election speech as the FM failed to justify this kind of unnatural offer with Rs 20 lakhs crore (166 billion dollars) which has neither a planning sketch nor economic adventure.
The most important economic package is the need for the welfare and development of the Indian farmers who constitute about 85% of the population of the country. Offering easy loans to the privileged class in the country, nor giving them loans on only tenders floated within the country shall help remove poverty in the country particularly when huge majority is residing in villages and living without necessary facility of education and employment. Neither the PM in his message, nor FM did touch the poverty ridden hundreds of millions people/unemployed youth in the villages.
Former Minister Thakur Randhir Singh and president Aromatic Plants Growers Association of India (APGAI) welcomed the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to overcome the impact of coronavirus pandemic. He said this will bring much needed relief to several stressed sectors, labourers, farmers and industries. Singh said the economic stimulus package announced today will liberate India from constraints in four key areas namely land, labour, liquidity and laws.
He also welcomed the announcement made by Finance Minister about the stimulus package as she also added to the PM’s urge to promote local products by saying that “we should make local our Mantra as every big product and branded product was local onetime. She said that even this call for a self-reliant India will be adopted by all.”
Chairman, Modi- Shah Mission, Raju Chandel congratulated PM Modi for his Rs 20 lakh crore economic package, whose details were announced by Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman today and termed it as a big relief to the poor.
In a statement, Chandel said that the detailed description of the Rs 20 lakh crore economic package announced by FM has brought smiles on the faces of poor lot of the country. He said despite facing tough times since March, when the pandemic started spreading across India, the PM took a bold initiative by announcing such a mega package. He lauded Government for giving boost to the Micro-Small Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).
Chandel also termed the Rs 2500 crore liquidity for EPF establishment so that workers would have more money in their hands while as over 72 crore employees will be covered under this.