Shillong, Sept 24 (PTI) The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday approved an interest subvention scheme for farmers under which the government will provide 2 per cent relief on interest to those who are availing Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans, Chief Minister Conrad K Sangma said.
The state government will incur an expenditure of appoximately Rs 2.5 crore to reimburse the 2 per cent loan interest of about 19,000 farmers, the chief minister said.
'This has been done to support the farmers during the pandemic. We understand that farmers and people in general have faced a lot of challenges during this crisis and so this was one of the steps taken,' Sangma told reporters after the meeting.
Only 19,000 of the 1.60 lakh farmers who had registered under the KCC scheme in Meghalaya had taken KCC loans, he said.
'I am sure that this will go a long way in helping farmers and also encourage them to take more loans under the KCC,' the chief minister said.
Another agenda of the meeting was giving a seal of approval to the creation of Chief Minister's Special Development Fund by merging the Chief Minister's Rural Development Fund and the Chief Minister's Special Urban Development Fund.
'The CM's Special Development Fund amounting to Rs 12 crore will now be implemented by the Chief Minister's Secretariat,' he said.
The state cabinet has also decided to introduce the Manufacture and Sale of Home Made Fruit Wines Rules, 2020 for issuing of license to wine makers in the state.
'This will help farmers who are producing fruits. The state government will ensure that the ad valorem paid by these home made fruit wine producers will be less compared to other products.
'The license fees for these producers will be Rs 7,500 per annum,' the chief minister said.
No VAT will be levied on these producers, he said.
The Cabinet also approved the remission of stamp duty on Emergency Credit Card Guarantee Scheme and PM SVAnidhi Scheme.
The PM SVAnidhi was launched by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs on June 1 for providing affordable working capital loan to street vendors to resume their livelihood which was adversely affected during the lockdown.
'This will allow small time loan takers to benefit as they will not have to register or pay stamp duty and it is being done throughout the country,' he said.
The last agenda taken by the Cabinet was the Amendment to the Meghalaya Minerals Cess Act 1988, which seeks to include 14 other minerals on which cess can be charged.
The additional items include iron ore, building stones, granite, boulders, ordinary sand, ordinary clay and others, he said, adding that an additional of Rs 40-50 crore is expected to be generated.
The state had collected cess amounting to Rs 48 crore in 2018-2019 and it increased to Rs 73 crore in 2019-2020.
PTI JOP MM MM