Thiruvananthapuram: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Thursday demanded a special package for small scale industries and entrepreneurs to overcome the crisis due to COVID-19 pandemic in the State.
He said the financial package announced by the Union Finance Minister does not address the demands of the small scale entrepreneurs.
“The small scale entrepreneurs had raised two demands. One, give a one-year moratorium on existing loans and avoid interest during this period. Two, sanction new loans. In the central package announced on Wednesday, only the second demand was considered and that too, at the mercy of the banks. Waiver of interest has not been considered during the moratorium period,” Vijayan said.
“The announced package only has nominal spending from the Union government’s budget and this has to change. Banks are refusing to sanction loans during this difficult time,” he said.
The Chief Minister added that the State Government will try to bring together the banks and industries to make effective interventions that will benefit the entire economy.
“The fixed charge of electricity has now been postponed but the State would need the help of the central government to write off the charges. In addition to that, workers in the small scale sector need to be given financial aid. If the State has to get central assistance to pay PF, the clause that stipulates the salary requirement of below ₹15,000 must be removed,” he said.
He further said that states have to bear the brunt of the ₹90,000 crores subsidy granted to power companies. But the state government is yet to receive any financial assistance. The Kerala Government hopes there will be a change in the approach in the coming days.”
“The Union Finance Minister should discuss these issues with the State Finance Ministers and come up with a clear strategy to help the states continue their healthcare and social security activities. This is even more necessary at this point when the State’s revenues are at minimum and expenses have doubled. Compared to the March 19-April 19 th period, Kerala has a revenue loss of ₹6,451 crores”, the Kerala Chief Minister added.
This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text. Only the headline has been changed.