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Jammu industrialists seek LG’s intervention in saving MSME sector in J&K

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Jammu: A Jammu-based industry association on Monday sought the intervention of Lt Governor Manoj Sinha to safeguard the badly-hit MSME sector in the union territory.

“We request Lt Governor for his kind intervention to save the MSME sector, being run by the sons of the soil who are providing employment to lakhs of the local residents,” Federation of Industries (FOI) chairman Lalit Mahajan said.

He said FOI had time and again highlighted various problems being faced by the industrial units post-implementation of GST regime in 2017 but no action has been taken by the administration despite the challenging situation in the wake of abrogation of Article 370 provisions in August last year and the outbreak of COVID-19 in March.

“Most of the industrial units await the fiscal relief from the UT administration since long but except assurances, nothing has been done so far as a result of which a large number of units are on the verge of closure,” Mahajan said.

Following the outbreak of the coronavirus, he said a task force has been constituted by the government to provide immediate relief to the industrial sector, tourism, hotel industry and hospitality sector with the timeline for the submission of recommendations by May 15 but till date “no relief is provided to the industrial sector”.

He said the FOI demands waiving the interest on the working capital limits or term loans up to March 31, 2021, corpus fund of Rs 100 crore for the rehabilitation of sick industrial units already declared as NPA (non-performing asset).

It also demanded the immediate release of funds for the payment of wages and salary of the workers and staff of the units for the months of April and May, waiver of demand charges, fixed charges and electricity duty for the lockdown period with the direction to defer the payment of actual power consumption bills for March, April, May, June, and July or till the resumption of normal activities in monthly installments without any surcharge.

The FOI chairman demanded deferment of the purchases through GeM (Government e-MarketPlace) portal till March 31, 2022 to provide relief to thousands of Micro and Small Scale units dependent on the government supplies due to limited marketing avenues within the UT and other related factors.

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