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Administrative Council meets, takes several decisions

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Govt announces relief package to revive J&K’s economy

Stamp duty on fresh loans, surcharge on fixed charge for power waived; amnesty scheme/filing of GST returns extended

Srinagar: To tackle the slowdown of economy due to COVID-19 pandemic, the government on Friday approved a relief package to revive the economy.

The decision was taken by the Administrative Council (AC) which met here with Lieutenant Governor, G C Murmu in chair.

Earlier, the Union government had rolled out a Rs 20 lakh crore package under the umbrella of ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat Abhiyan’, sharply focusing on MSMEs, priority sectors and vulnerable segments.

However, the Jammu and Kashmir government felt a need to consider similar “hand-holding measures” for sectors/borrowers not covered under the Central government package, an official spokesperson said.

He said in order to clear the backlog of sales tax/VAT arrears under the relief package, the amnesty scheme has been extended up to 31st, October, 2020, while as the date of filing of re-imbursement claims (GST returns/claims) for the period from January to March, 2020 has been extended to 15th October, 2020 and for the period April to June, 2020 to 15th November, 2020.

In a normal course, the industrial units claiming GST re-imbursement on supply of goods during inter-state movement were required to get the relevant electronic way bills stamped and verified by the consignee. However, considering the issues due to COVID-19 pandemic, self-attestation of claimants has been enabled and scanned copies of such documents verified by the consignee and attested by the claimants with a post-dated cheque shall be accepted for re-imbursement for a period of six months, an official press release informed.

To enable smooth transition out of the pandemic-driven economic shock, under the relief package, the surcharge leviable on the fixed charges of all the industrial/commercial establishments in J&K for the period 31st March, 2020 to 31st October, 2020 shall be borne by the government, it said.

Stamp duty on fresh lending under the GoI’s/J&K government’s package shall also be waived off under the relief package so that the cost of lending is reduced, it said.

Moreover, the Administrative Council directed the Finance department to come up with a proposal for interest subvention for currently operating establishments, in consultation with Industries & Commerce department. Industries department was also directed to implement the policy of preference for local manufacturers in procurement through an appropriate mechanism.

Policy on affordable housing sanctioned

Srinagar: The Jammu and Kashmir Administrative Council (AC), which met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu on Friday, accorded sanction to a policy on affordable housing, including slum development, in the Union territory.

The Council approved adoption and notification of the J&K Housing, Affordable Housing, Slum Redevelopment and Rehabilitation and Township Policy, 2020.

“The policy envisages seven models of housing, ranging from in-situ slum redevelopment to integrated township, to cater to the need of every section of society,” an official spokesperson said.

The new policy aims at promoting public-private partnerships for affordable housing and slum rehabilitation projects and provides platform for operation and maintenance of integrated/special townships in a cooperative manner, he said.

The spokesperson said the policy includes minimum relocation of existing slum dwellers so as to maintain sanctity of existing economic and social linkages developed over a period of time in these informal settlements.

“Additionally, the policy also includes provisions for fast-track approvals of housing in economically weaker section (EWS) and low-income group (LIG) categories. Besides, it provides for their incentivisation in the form of exemptions from building permit fee, land use conversion and external development charges,” he added.

The policy also aims to provide rental housing, in which EWS families will be given dwelling unit on a licence basis for occupation and use for a particular period on making initial deposit and monthly charges, the spokesperson said.

The policy has been approved under the broader vision of meeting the growing requirement for affordable housing, slum redevelopment and rehabilitation and rental housing, for which an initial target has been set for construction of one lakh dwelling units over the next five years, he added.

Special dispensation approved for regulating construction in ‘strategic areas’

Srinagar, July 17:  The Administrative Council (AC) which met here with Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu in chair okayed the proposal of amending the Control of Building Operations Act, 1988 and the J&K Development Act, 1970 to provide for special dispensation for carrying out construction activities in “strategic areas”.

The amendments proposed by Housing & Urban Development Department will pave way for notifying certain areas as “strategic areas” in terms of the requirement of armed forces and in such areas, the regulation of construction activity shall be through a special dispensation.

The move is aimed at simplifying the procedures and shall facilitate time-bound development of infrastructure of strategic importance, an official spokesman said.

He said the approval has been granted keeping in view the strategic importance of certain locations and reconciling their security needs with developmental aspirations.

Rollout of Excise Policy for FY21 approved

Annual license fee, additional license fee introduced to optimize revenue

Srinagar: The Administrative Council of Jammu and Kashmir on Friday approved the rollout of Excise Policy for 2020-21 and implementation of policy measures to improve transparency and objectivity related to renewal, cancellation, transfer of licences and penalties.

The Council met here under the chairmanship of Lieutenant Governor G C Murmu.

The new policy aims to rationalise the number of taxes, duties and other levies to optimise revenues for common good, and bring about greater social consciousness about the harmful effects of consumption of liquor and alcoholic beverages, an official spokesman said.

He said the policy envisages checking bootlegging of Bottled in Origin (BiO) brands from neighbouring states, besides providing choice of brands and a level playing field to those in the business.

Under this year’s policy, the Excise Department has specified fixed number of licences, licensed zones for ex-servicemen, specially-abled persons, SC/ST/OBC and people belonging to economically weaker sections as per the criteria to be notified separately, the spokesman said.

He said the licence fee structure has also been revisited in the draft policy. A fixed component of ‘annual licence fee’ has also been introduced, whereas, the existing per bottle licence fee has been revised on higher side as ‘additional licence fee’.

The Excise Policy for 2019-20 was extended till June, 2020 in the wake of COVID-19 pandemic and now stands expired, he added.

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