PM’s soft loan package mishandled: KHARA
Hoteliers become defaulters for want of interest subsidy
Srinagar May 27: The Kashmir Hotel and Restaurant Association, a guild of Valley-based hoteliers and restaurateurs, today pooh-poohed the government for “being insensitive to the needs of the hotel industry.”
President KHARA Siraj Ahmad alleged the government had mishandled the soft loan package announced by then Prime Minister of India, A B Vajpayee in 2003-04.
“Appreciating the bad condition of tourism industry in the Valley, the former Prime Minister had announced a soft loan package for reviving the hotels and guesthouses. But the department of tourism has rendered the package ineffective,” they said.
According to the scheme the government of India had promised interest subsidy to be given through tourism department to the beneficiaries. “The beneficiaries were supposed to pay only 4 per cent interest on the loan availed for giving facelift to his hotel/guesthouse, while the rest interest burden had to be shared by government of India.”
“A coordination committee was set up comprising Secretary Tourism and state level representatives of the Bank. The committee was appointed to approve the cases of the eligible and submit its recommendations to Department of Tourism for release of funds,” he added.
Siraj said it was unfortunate that the committee was appointed at a belated stage and the procedure adopted by the implementing agency was highly cumbersome “because of which many hoteliers and guesthouse owners could not avail themselves of the benefits of the package.”
He said: “The interest amount above 4 per cent which had to come as subsidy from Government of India through Tourism Department was not received by the beneficiaries,” he said.
“For the last two years not a single penny on account of interest subsidy has been deposited in the accounts of the beneficiaries,” he added.
He said the unhealthy attitude of the department had rendered the beneficiaries as defaulters.
“Due to poor tourism scenario since June 2008, the hotels and guesthouses having availed the facility of the said package have not been able to make regular re-payments towards the banks and financial institutions,” he added.
According to Siraj the Department of Tourism has received interest subsidy amount from the Central Government but the amount is yet to be transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries.
“The department has received Rs 16 crores from GOI under this scheme. But the non-disbursement of the subsidy by it has made us to suffer,” he added.
Siraj said the issue had been taken time and again with the state government, ministries of tourism and finance and 13th Finance Commission. “Chief Minister during his budget speech has himself made a mention about mismanagement of Rs 30 crores received from GOI on this account,” he added.
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 May 2010 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Thu, 27 May 2010 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Fri, 28 May 2010 00:00:00 IST
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