Working to provide support to people: Chairman
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Bank’s loan moratorium has failed to cheer up the business community in the valley.
Kashmir Inc. said only a complete bailout package can bring the respite to the stressed business.
On the direction of Reserve Bank of India, J&K Bank announced the moratorium on loans, EMIs for six months from March. Later on Friday, the state-owned bank lowered interest rates on loans by 0.05 percent
“It is like escaping a burden for a time being. The business community of Kashmir has been suffering since August 2019 due to which many accounts are on the verge of turning into NPAs. Instead of temporary relief measures, Centre, UT government and RBI seriously need to announce something constructive for Kashmir,” said president Kashmir Chamber and Commerce (KCCI), Sheikh Ashiq Ahmad.
He said the government needs to announce interest subvention for small-time borrowers and capital infusion for entrepreneurs and small scale business houses.
“It is very astonishing to see that businessmen in Kashmir are paying required installments to save their accounts. We held a meeting with Union Finance Minister and Home Minister with similar pleas. We were just a meeting away from Prime Minister and suddenly Covid-19 hit the country,” Ahmad said.
KCCI president said the employment generating sector particularly tourism, handicrafts, horticulture, and agriculture are the worst suffers which requires immediate financial assistance from the government.
“The Rs 20 lakh crore package announced by the Prime Minister did not help Kashmir’s business sector. Every day of lockdown means Rs 120 crore loss to the business community of Kashmir,” Ahmad said.
Hoteliers, who have been at the receiving end, demanded interest-free financial assistance to the industry.
“Hotels are a dying industry and the government should immediately announce interest-free loans. Other taxes including water and electrify tariff, should be waived off,” said Waheed Malik, former president of Kashmir Hoteliers and Restaurant owners Association (KHARA).
Chairman of J&K Bank RS Chibber said the bank was working to provide maximum support to the public. “My team is working to provide support to the people and the government is also taking concrete steps to help all the sectors currently,” he said.