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J&K Govt announces amnesty scheme for power consumers

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Asks Fin Deptt to advise J&K Bank for initiating fresh recruitment for 250 PO, 1200 banking associates

Jammu, Feb 27: The government today announced amnesty scheme for power consumers across UT of J&K.

This was stated by Principal Secretary Planning, Development and Monitoring, Rohit Kansal today at an evening press conference here.

Kansal, who is also government’s spokesperson, informed that the decision was taken by the Administrative Council which met here today under the chairmanship of the Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu.

He said that the Council approved an amnesty scheme for the power consumers which will come into effect from March 01, 2020.

“It decided that as a welfare measure and in order to give an opportunity to power consumers to prevent disconnection of their connections and to facilitate easy payment, the amnesty scheme envisages payment of arrears in three easy installments,” he announced.

He further said 25 percent of the payment is to be completed by March 31, 2020, 40 percent of the payment is to be completed by April 30, 2020 and remaining 35 percent by May 31st, 2020.

On timely and complete payment, he informed that a full waiver of interest and penalty will be provided by the department.

“Consumers who miss the first installment will lose 5 percent of the benefit while those missing the second one will lose 10 percent of the benefit. Failure to fully pay all three installments by May 31st will, however, lead to immediate disconnection. It has also been decided that after June 01 no power will be supplied to the defaulting customers unless the arrears are cleared in full. It is estimated that waiver of penalties and interests will cost around Rs 600 crore to the government as against total pending dues of Rs 3000 crore,” he said.

On the recruitment process of J&K Bank, Kansal informed that the issues had been ongoing since 2018 and noted that various legal infirmities had been pointed out in the ongoing process.

The Council, he said, therefore, directed the Finance department to advise J&K Bank to initiate a fresh, fair, norm-based and transparent recruitment for 250 Probationary Officers and 1200 Banking Associates in the J&K Bank through the IBPS.

“The entire recruitment process will be completed by on a fast-track basis within three months. The detailed modalities and announcements in this regard will be finalized by the bank in its next board meeting. As a result the ongoing process of recruitment for these posts by this bank shall stand scrapped,” he said and added that the bank is being advised to ensure that all applicants eligible in the last recruitment which has been cancelled shall be eligible for the fresh recruitment also.

The Administrative Council discussed the difficulties being faced by the local industry.

He said after detailed discussions, the Lieutenant Governor directed the Finance department to prepare an estimate of interest liabilities of industries operating in J&K owing to the situational difficulties being faced by these industries.

“It decided that the Finance department will carry out this exercise in consultation with other departments such as Industries department, etc. The department will also prepare an estimate of the forebearings required to see that the local industries can be revived and start functioning normally,” he said and added that the Industries department will also engage in a widespread stakeholder consultation in order to prepare a policy for incentivising the local industry on similar lines as is being done for attracting investors from outside.

These consultations will be combined into a comprehensive package for having vibrant industrial/tourist eco-system in J&K, he added.

On proposed investment summit, Kansal said that the Administrative Council also reviewed the progress with regard to the proposed investment summit and accorded approval to four sectors-specific policies which would help facilitate investment in these sectors.

“Considering the large amount of investment being targeted and consequently the work noted to be done in facilitating these investments, the Administrative Council also accorded approval to the creation of a post of Industries Commissioner in the Industries department in the pay matrix 14,” he said.

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