SAC approves Health Care Investment Policy, conduct of BDC polls

Amnesty scheme for GST extended

Excelsior Correspondent
JAMMU, Mar 8: The State Administrative Council (SAC) which met here today under the chairmanship of Governor, Satya Pal Malik approved the “State Health Care Investment Policy-2019”, conduct of BDC elections and accorded extension in the date of depositing 2nd installment of arrears of Old Tax regime under Amnesty Scheme for streamlining the implementation of Good and Services Tax up to March 31, 2019.
The salient features of the Health Care Investment Policy include, 30% subsidy on capital investment to be provided for setting up of Multi Specialty Hospitals, Super Specialty Hospitals, Medical Colleges, Nursing Colleges and Paramedical Colleges.
The subsidy on Capital Investment will be limited to a maximum of Rs 3 crore in cities with population less than 10 lakh and a maximum of Rs 5 crore in cities with a population of more than 10 lakh as per 2011 census; provide interest subsidy at the rate of 5% per annum on term loan subject to a ceiling of Rs 15 lakh per year for a period of five years from the date of operationalization of the project; subsidized power tariff rates as applicable to the Industries Sector; provide 100% subsidy on purchase and installation of DG sets with upper ceiling of Rs 45 lakh; one time subsidy up to 25% of the cost incurred on induction training of nursing and paramedical staff will be provided by the State Government, capped at a maximum of Rs 12,000 per person; promoters/investors setting up the project shall be free to establish the unit on their own property/acquired land subject to eligibility of the same as per defined land use; allotment of land at premium rates as applicable under Industrial Policy of 2016 through land bank to be created through SIDCO & SICOP.
The policy provides that for Multi/Super Specialty Hospitals to be set up outside Municipal Corporation limits, land up to 5 acres for 200 bedded hospitals and upto 10 acres for 500 bedded hospitals will be provided subject to the availability of land.
The minimum capital investment required is Rs 80 crore for 200 bedded hospitals and Rs 200 crore for 500 bedded hospitals, within a period of five years. The Medical Colleges being set up outside Municipal Corporation limits will be provided land upto 25 acres at a token premium of Rs 1 per kanal, subject to the availability of land. Minimum Capital investment required will be Rs 200 crore to be made within a period of five years. Single window clearance mechanism will be adopted for processing the project proposals with final approval to be accorded by Apex Level Project Clearance Committee (ALPCC).
Under the Policy, Government may declare a well defined geographical area as ‘Medical City’ for having potential and being conducive for development and promoting medical tourism in the state.
The State Health Care Investment Policy-2019 aims to promote/ encourage private parties/ entrepreneurs to set up healthcare infrastructure in the state for which Government shall provide subsidies on various fronts to the entrepreneurs. The Policy has been drafted after extensive deliberations in the Health Department. The Policy is expected to improve accessibility of quality healthcare services to the people, promote establishment of hospital infrastructure, medical and allied educational infrastructure and establish Jammu and Kashmir as a destination of choice for health care service providers in the private sector, besides promoting medical tourism.
It is noteworthy to mention that private healthcare sector in the State has not come up like in other States with around 80% of the healthcare facilities being provided by the public sector. In the absence of private sector, there is huge rush of patients in the Government institutions which affects the quality of patient care available. There are many Primary Health Centres (PHCs) and Sub Centres functioning from rented buildings with some being under staffed. As per the Indian Public Health Standards (IPHS) norms, J&K still requires 69 new community Health Centres, 222 PHCs and 1396 Sub Centres. Even for implementation of Ayushmaan Bharat, Hospitals, Nursing Homes would be required in private sector for its implementation.
The State Administrative Council (SAC) also accorded sanction to the extension of date of depositing of 2nd installment of arrears of old tax regime under Amnesty Scheme for streamlining the implementation of Goods and Services Tax upto March 31, 2019.
The Amnesty Scheme announced by the Government in February, 2018, in addition to various other provisions, provides for 100% remission of penalty and interest on arrears of tax for dealers under the provisions of J&K VAT Act, 2005 (now repealed) and J&K Sales Tax Act, 1962.
As per the provisions of the scheme, it is mandatory for the dealers to pay the arrears, assessed/re-assessed /admitted up to the accounting year 2016-17 in three equal installments. The due date for depositing of 2nd installment expired on January 31, 2019.
On the request from various stake holders, the Government has decided to extend the date of depositing of 2nd installment up to March 31, 2019, so that the inconvenience faced by the dealers is addressed.
Meanwhile, the State Administrative Council also approved holding of elections for constitution of Block Development Council in the State (2nd Tier), after issuance of necessary notification in this behalf in consultation with Chief Electoral Officer, J&K.
Section 27 of the J&K Panchayati Raj (Amendment) Act, 1989, provides for constitution of a Block Development Council for every block. Every Block Development Council shall be a body headed by a chairperson and other members. Chairperson of the Block Development Council shall be elected by the Electoral College comprising Panchs and Sarpanchs of Halqa Panchayat falling within the Block.
The object of constituting Block Development Council is to establish second tier of PRI institutions for implementation/monitoring of several Centrally Sponsored Schemes like RGSA, MGNREGA, 14th Finance Commission and other schemes transferred to Halqa Panchayats; preparation and implementation of schemes of inter-Halqa Panchayats; consolidation of Action Plans of Halqa Panchayats and their submission to the District Planning and Development Board and ensuring the inter-departmental coordination at the Block level for the implementation of various schemes.

6 communities get OSC status
The State Administrative Council (SAC) today approved the proposal for inclusion of Jogi/ Yogi/ Nath/ Bouria/Boria/Bowaria communities in the categories of Other Social Castes (OSCs).
The Jammu and Kashmir State Commission for Backward Classes is the appropriate body to recommend the inclusion of communities in the list of backward classes. The advice of the Commission is ordinarily binding on the Government.
The Commission is mandated to examine requests for inclusion of any class of citizens as a Backward Class in the lists and hear complaints of over-inclusion or under-inclusion of any Backward Class in such list and tender such advice to the Government as it deems appropriate.
Various criteria/parameters are adopted by the Commission for declaring any class as ‘Backward’. These largely include socio-economic backwardness together with various other indicators.
Population of Boria, Bouria/ Bowaria in the State is roughly 1500 with very low literacy rate of just 12%. They usually work as labourers. As regards, Yogi/ Jogi/ Nath Community, Mandal Commission has declared Jogi/ Yogi/ Nath community as Backward class. Their population in the State is approximately 40,000.
Keeping in view the inferior living conditions of these groups, the Backward Class Commission has recommended their inclusion in the other social caste category (OSCs).
The decision will go a long way in benefiting these communities in reaping the benefits of reservation.
The reservation in direct recruitment is to the extent of 43% which includes SC (8%), ST (10%), OSC (2%), ALC (3%), RBA (20%). Besides, ex-servicemen and physically challenged are entitled to horizontal reservation to the extent of 6% and 3% respectively.
Presently, 26 social caste communities are entitled to the benefit of 2% reservation under J&K Reservation Rules of 2005.