The Kerala government on Friday announced a financial package of over Rs 5,000 crore to revive the state economy that is reeling due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Finance Minister K N Balagopal announced a financial package of Rs 5,650 crore in the state Assembly, to assist small-scale traders and farmers of the state.
"This package is to provide assistance to small-scale traders and farmers of the state who have been adversely affected by the pandemic," Mr Balagopal told media.
He said the state government has decided to provide subsidised loans and announced new loan schemes under the Kerala Financial Corporation (KFC) and the Kerala State Financial Enterprises (KSFE).
"We will be giving very subsidised loans. The state government will bear the four per cent of the interest of loans for six months for the loans up to Rs two lakh," Mr Balagopal said.
The government has also announced loan waiver and low interest loan facilities as part of the package. He said the state government has also decided to help small-scale businesses by forgoing the rent from the shops and buildings owned by the state government for the period from July to December 31 this year.
Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises have been given a building tax exemption from July to December 31.
"It will be helpful for the small medium entrepreneurs. We have asked the bankers to provide loans as the state government is giving interest subvention. Traders can avail loan for a smaller interest per cent," he said.
This is the third financial package announced by the Left government to tackle the economic crisis due to the pandemic.
Mr Balagopal said the state government has decided to provide loans up to Rs one crore at five per cent interest rate for 500 business enterprises a year.
"This is available to young entrepreneurs under the age of 50," he said. The government has also announced a moratorium of one year for the the loans taken by small-scale enterprises from the KFC.
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