Kerala govt expands COVID relief package, no rent for traders in govt buildings for rest of year

The government will bear 4% interest of loans up to Rs 2 lakh for six months, availed from financial institutions under the state and central governments, cooperatives and commercial banks

Published: 30th July 2021 04:53 PM  |   Last Updated: 30th July 2021 04:53 PM   |  A+A-

The measures were announced by Finance Minister K N Balagopal in the Assembly | Vincent Pulickal

By Express News Service

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The government has announced an expansion of the COVID-19 relief package to help small-scale traders, industrialists and farmers, Finance Minister KN Balagopal informed the State Assembly on Friday.

The government will bear 4% interest of loans up to Rs 2 lakh for six months, availed from financial institutions under the state and central governments, cooperatives and commercial banks. Rs 2000 crore has been earmarked for this and about one lakh persons will benefit from it. It will be applicable for loans sanctioned from August 1 as well, the minister said.

The government will waive the rent from traders in government buildings between July and December 31. MSMEs have been exempted from paying building tax and electricity fixed charge during the period between July and December.

The Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE) will roll out various relief measures. Penal interest on defaulting loans since 20 January 2021 will be avoided until 30 September. Interest and penal interest, from 50% to 100% depending on the tenure, will be avoided for chitty defaulters.

Interest and penal interest will be waived for chitty subscribers whose accounts are defaulting since 20 January 2021. This will be applicable only for subscribers who have not claimed the prize money. The Rs 1 lakh loan for families which had Covid-19 will be extended up to 30 September 2021. The interest rate is 5%.

The Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) has three relief projects. Start-Up Kerala loans will be sanctioned up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore without collateral security. Rs 50 crore will be allocated for this.

Loans up to a maximum of Rs 20 crore will be sanctioned to enterprises in governments industrial estates. Rs 500 crore will be sanctioned for this.

The Chief Minister's Entrepreneurship Development Programme will be revamped. Loans up to a maximum of Rs 1 crore will be sanctioned to new units at five percent interest rate. 500 units will be selected annually for the next five years. The beneficiaries should be below the age of 50.

The KFC will give one-year moratorium for loans sanctioned to small-scale entrepreneurs who were prompt in repayment until 31 March 2021. It will cover 820 loan accounts. Loan accounts will be restructured as per the RBI guidelines to avoid categorisation as NPA. Additional loans to the tune of 20% of the original capital will be sanctioned to customers in the small scale and tourism sectors.

Special loans will be sanctioned to enterprises engaged in Covid-19 prevention. Up to 90% of the project cost will be sanctioned. The interest range for small scale industries and enterprises in tourism and healthcare was slashed from 9.5%-12% to 8%-10.5%.

The government will spend Rs 526 crore for the Onam special kit distribution. Welfare pension for July and August will be distributed early next month.


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