Package for business revival

Amidst tremendous strains on the economy due to COVID-19 pandemic when revenue inflow is under stress, the UT Government of Jammu and Kashmir has come out with an innovative decision to allocate Rs.1350 crore for revival of business sector that is hard hit due to the COVID pandemic. In addition to this, additional amount of Rs.1500 crore is earmarked for clearing accumulated liabilities comprising pending bills of different Government works, the payment of which in most of the cases, was withheld due to ”cash crunch”. However, needless to add, after proper verification and scrutinizing only such payments should be released. At the outset, this amount was going to accelerate dormant economic activities, generating demand for goods and services and impacting favourably supply chains which again was going to create additional opportunities for income earnings. All efforts are required to be pooled which aimed at reviving and generating employment opportunities since it hardly needs to be emphasised as to how much have jobs mostly in unorganised sector, got severally affected. In that connection, addressing a press conference, Lieutenant Governor announced Rs.950 crore package for setting up small and medium and big industrial units at a paltry rate of 5% for the first six months of current financial year. A separate package, it is learnt, was in the offing for transporters and houseboat owners as well.
50 percent concession on power and water bills too has been announced but only for fixed demand charges pertaining to industrial units and commercial consumers and not anything of the sort for the common people. This measure of waiving of power dues would cost the public exchequer an amount of Rs.105 crore. The entrepreneurs engaged with industrial activities in the UT had been demanding such concessions and other facilities to help them tide over an emerged precarious situation where most of the units getting severely impacted were running the risk of even closure. Since the backbone of the economy of the UT of Jammu and Kashmir is tourism and tourism related activities , which have been worst hit , we have learnt, to provide support base and a succour to it is under active consideration of the Government and may be announced shortly. That would take care of even at individual micro levels like Shikarawalas, houseboat owners, traders engaged with tourism etc. It needs to be taken note of and appreciated as well that the package announced as under reference, was over and above the package of Rs. 1400 crore announced for Jammu and Kashmir under centrally sponsored Aatma Nirbhar Bharat Abhiyan (ANBA) scheme. Revenues from the source of stamp duties too would be parted with to the tune of 100 percent for all types and classification of borrowers till ending March 2021. A new Industrial Policy is currently being shaped and erected by Government of India which when announced, would provide necessary wings to the local industrial activities to come out of most of the difficulties faced by them.
The fresh economic revival measures announced as under reference by the UT Government, have been preceded with a few more concessions and facilities and surely looking to the enormity of the unprecedented conditions created by the pandemic, demand such type of considerations for each such sector genuinely felt to have been affected by the lockdown and associated reasons. It may also be borne in mind that too much dependence only on economic packages coupled with not utilising them for the specific purposes would defeat the very purpose of the revival package.