Business Association of Nagas seeks Covid-19 stimulus package
Dimapur, Oct. 26 (EMN): The Business Association of Nagas (BAN) has sought Covid-19 stimulus package from the government of Nagaland, citing severe economic impact caused by the pandemic on the local entrepreneurs.
In a press release, the BAN said that the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown measures had taken a huge toll on local business people.
‘Naga entrepreneurs, who are mostly first-generation businesspersons, were not ready for such an unprecedented event. Many businesses have closed, some are barely managing, and many are on the verge of closing. The employees attached to these businesses also stand to lose their jobs,’ it stated.
It maintained that entrepreneurship and a vibrant local economy can help solve unemployment problem as well as boost state government’s revenue through taxes.
The association stated that it had placed several matters like State Industrial Policy, streamlining of PMEGP loan scheme, illegal occupation of industrial shed in Dimapur, Covid-19 stimulus package for Naga entrepreneurs, etc. during its recent consultative meetings with government officials.
It stated that the Centre had announced stimulus package, “most of which is in the form of government credit guarantees”. However, entrepreneurs are struggling to get loans from banks in the state, it said, adding that non-implementation of SARFAESI Act had aggravated the problem.
Citing these issues, the BAN said that the state government should introduce economic relief measures for affected local entrepreneurs.
Here are measures suggested by BAN:
- Waiver of electricity bill and rent in government property for 12 months to industrial consumers, shops, and offices.
- Employment wage subsidy.
- SGST (State Goods and Service Tax) reimbursement for one year.
- Covid-19 business loan between INR 2 lakh and INR 10 lakh from NIDC or under NBFC Co-lending scheme; six months interest to be reimbursed by state government; and loan to be repayable in 36 months.
- Covid-19 microfinance assistance up to INR 1 Lakh under CM corpus fund.
- Sustainable enterprise fund owing to loss incurred over the past 18 months; loan can be extended by NIDC or Cooperative bank at 50% grant from Covid-19 cess, 50% payable (repayable in 24 months).
- Covid-19 restriction livelihood scheme: To provide income support as compensation for the livelihood that was denied through lockdown to sectors that had been hit the most and “assistance can be to the tune of 3% of previous turnover or as per the SGST filed”.
- Credit guarantee scheme: Each bank should be given a target and 3% interest to be supported by state government.
- Government department should follow e-Tendering process for all purchases and contracts giving 15% price preference and exemption of earnest money to local entrepreneurs as per the provision under Nagaland Industrial policy 2004.