J&K government seeks Rs. 44,000 cr flood relief package from centre

Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir government has submitted a proposal to the central government, seeking a special financial package of 44,000 crore rupees for the rehabilitation of flood affected people.

The state cabinet, which met here Friday evening under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Omar Abdullah, approved the proposal to seek package from the centre.

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It also decided to approach the union home ministry for releasing of funds to the tune of rupees 1,947.20 crores under National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) besides requesting the union government to declare tax holiday for the Jammu and Kashmir state for 10 years to facilitate its economic revival.

The cabinet also recommended to request the union government for issuing directions to all banks/financial institutions for re-scheduling of loans/granting of moratorium and remission of interest during the moratorium period and providing of fresh loans for the flood affected, besides waiving of loans up to Rs. 3,00,000 for individuals and interest subvention of five percent on the loans already raised after completion of the moratorium period.

The demands, under the special financial package, include payment of ex-gratia relief against the loss of private structures to the tune of 9,00,00 rupees for fully damaged pucca house, 6,00,000 rupees for fully damaged kucha house, 4,00,000 rupees for partially damaged kucha/pucca house including boundary walls and 1,00,000 rupees for other structures.

The affected families whose houses are fully damaged can also avail housing loan up to 20,00,000 rupees at 4 percent interest only, as the balance bank interest shall be borne by the government. The re-payment shall be worked out up to 10 years with a moratorium period of two years initially.

Moreover, those whose houses have been fully damaged can shift to a hired accommodation for about a year till their houses are rebuilt. The government will reimburse rent for this period.

Wherever the relocation of families is required from areas exposed to risks due to landslides, flash floods etc., the revenue department shall identify alternate land for their rehabilitation and provide 10 marlas of land to each family and provide other support for their re-settlement. One marlas is equal to about 25 square yards.

Similarly, for small shopkeepers not registered under VAT, the proposal includes loan facility up to 5,00,000 rupees to be provided at 2 percent interest rate annually. Such loan shall be without any collateral security. In respect of registered dealers with the sales tax authority, loan up to Rs. 20 lakh at 4 percent and loan up to 50,00,000 rupees at 6 percent annual interest has been proposed.

The proposal includes financial support and concessions for business community, agriculture and horticulture sector, transport sector, tourism sector, industrial sector, artisans, and other sectors.

It also includes compensating the affected people for the loss of land due to flash floods and landslides at 50 percent of the land’s value in that area, as notified for stamp duty by the respective District Valuation Committees, headed by the concerned Deputy Commissioners, in the agriculture sector besides all types of loans, raised by farmers including Kisan Credit Card loans, ODs etc and in the industrial sector, the concessions sought extend to all who have raised loans, including through Artisan Credit Cards, Sher-i-Kashmir Employment and Welfare Programme for Youth (SKEWPY) and others.

The floods in September caused havoc across the state, affecting over 15,00,000 families in 5,794 villages. As per the initial assessment received, around 3,44,607 structures have been damaged, 90,000 cattle perished, crop loss reported in 6.52 lakh hectares of land besides huge losses to the public and private infrastructure.