Srinagar: Ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr, the state government on Monday announced it will release cash relief to the traders, farmers, artisans and houseboat owners who were affected by the devastating deluge in September 2014.
Chief minister Mehbooba Mufti will set the cash-relief disbursement process rolling on Tuesday. The funds will be directly transferred into the bank accounts of the beneficiaries. This was stated by finance minister Haseeb A Drabu during a high-level meeting of various departments here. The meeting was held in the backdrop of the decisions taken to address the concerns of the flood-hit people of the state.
Drabu said the interest subvention for traders under the Prime Minister’s Development Package will be distributed from Monday.
“The state government will give the 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 was quoted by an official spokesman as saying in the meeting.
He said the state government will conduct an audit of the accounts once the funds were disbursed to avoid any fiscal mismanagement.
The finance minister said the state government will also start releasing funds to provide one-time waiver to farmers who had availed loans under Kisan Credit Card (KCC) scheme, subject to a maximum limit of Rs 1 lakh. He said the account has to be standard on August 31, 2014 and balance on March 31, 2015 will be taken into consideration. Drabu recently told state assembly that 50 percent of the outstanding amount will be waived off under the scheme.
The finance ministry also decided to release funds for one-time settlement of loans of Houseboat owners. The scheme has already been announced during the budget speech. Drabu was told that the beneficiaries of the scheme, with an outstanding of Rs 48 crore, have been identified and the funds will be released from Tuesday.
The finance minister also released interest subvention component in respect of Artisans’ Credit Cards, pending since 2011. The settlement will pose an outgo of Rs 26 crore which will be released from Tuesday. The finance minister also called for revising the scheme under which 10 percent of the interest is borne by the government while 2.5 percent is charged on the artisan.
The meeting also discussed the financial package for West Pakistan refugees. According to officials, over 36,000 WPR families will be given Rs 5.5 lakh per family as immediate financial assistance under central package, “The process for disbursal of funds has been started. Once the Government of India releases the funds, it will be immediately disbursed among the beneficiaries,” Dr Drabu said.
The meeting was also attended by revenue, relief and rehabilitation minister Basharat Bukhari, Chairman J&K Bank, Mushtaq Ahmad, Financial Commissioner (Planning and Development Department), BB Vyas, Navin K Choudhary, Commissioner Secretary (Finance), Secretary, Tourism, Farooq Shah, and Commissioner Secretary (Industries) Shailendra Kumar besides other officers of the state government.