More efforts needed
The State government has approved extension of payment date for outstanding power dues for businesses under Amnesty Scheme for one month. The decision in this regard was taken by the State Administrative Council.
According to the SAC decision, the extension is, however, applicable with the modification that outstanding dues shall be paid in one installment instead of three equal installments. The scheme is applicable for industrialists, hoteliers, tourist resort owners, small scale industries and sick industries – waiving off interest, penalty and surcharge on power dues.
The move has come at a time when the trade fraternity, business unit holders and people associated with tourism trade had made several representations and demands in this regard.
The government as of now has also decided that the matter shall be referred to J&K State Electricity Regulatory Commission (JKSERC) for seeking comments regarding future financial years (2019-20 and thereafter), before a final decision could be arrived at in this regard.
Pertinently, the Government vide Order No: 271 of 2018 dated: 05.06.2018 issued by Finance Department accorded sanction to waiver off 100% interest and penalty on all power arrears payable upto 31.12.2017 owed by the Industrialists, Hoteliers and Tourist Resort Owners provided that the payment is made by or before 30.09.2018 in a maximum of 3 equal installments.
By virtue of another Govt Order No: 267-FD of 2018, dated: 30.05.2018 issued by Finance Department sanction was accorded by treating Hoteliers & resorts registered with J&K Tourism department at par with Industries, so far as power tariff is concerned.
However, due to poor response from the consumers the government felt it appropriate to extend the payment of outstanding dues for a period of one month from the date of issuance of notification in this behalf with the change that outstanding dues shall be paid in one installment instead of three equal installments.
Trade, industry and tourism along with all allied sectors have been under tremendous stress over the past several years. Post 2016, trade and allied sectors have witnessed a disastrous situation as the valley continued to be either experiencing shutdowns or restrictions imposed by the authorities owing to bad situation here.
This phenomenon has lead to decrease in resource generation and less capital inflow into the trade and other allied sectors. The result has been that lesser job opportunities were created and the entire trade and industry did not witness any growth.
In such given situation the government’s initiative of helping out the various sectors deserves applause as the situation could have proved to be more stressful for the entrepreneurs as the situation that emerged in 2016 post the killing of Hizbul commander, Burhan Wani has not improved.
The situation on the trade front is worsening day by day and the efforts by the government need to be redoubled to provide relief and help to the already stressed sectors.