Firms spared fixed electricity charges for two months, no penalty for others on late payment: BS Yediyurappa
BENGALURU: Chief minister BS Yediyurappa announced waiver of fixed electricity charges for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for two months, bringing some relief to the struggling sector.
“MSMEs have suffered huge production losses due to the lockdown. It will take some time for them to revive. Hence, the government has decided to come to the rescue of the industry,” the CM said. Small and medium scale industries that have experienced a slump in business for nearly a year now, are among the worst hit due to Covid-19. Industry representatives had placed a list of demands before the government including waiver or deferment of fixed electricity charges. The government’s relief is expected to help about 6.5 lakh MSME units in the state that employ about 70 lakh people.
Yediyurappa announced a special relief package of Rs 1,610 crore to assist people from various affected sectors on Wednesday, which was welcomed by his political opponents. Besides waiver of fixed power costs for MSMEs, the CM announced some relief for electricity consumers across categories. These include the utilities accepting delayed payments without a penalty.
The government has decided to give a one-time compensation of Rs 5,000 to autorickshaw and taxi drivers who have lost their income during the lockdown. “This will help about 7.75 lakh auto and taxi drivers in the state,” the CM said.
Another major relief is for the handloom weaver community that is facing tough times because of the shutting down of handloom industries. The government announced a new scheme, “Weaver Samman Yojana”, to deposit Rs 2,000 to the bank accounts of handloom weavers. This is likely to benefit about 54,000 weavers in the state. Besides, the government will also release the balance amount of Rs 80 crore under the Weavers Loan Waiver scheme.
The government has also announced a slew of measures to come to the aid of flower growers, who have destroyed their cultivation, farmers, dhobis and construction workers. After transferring Rs 2,000 to the bank accounts of building construction workers last month, the government has decided to give them an additional Rs 3,000.
Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) President D K Shivakumar congratulated the CM for coming to the rescue of affected people. “In addition, the CM should immediately call for a legislative session and pass a revised budget with new priorities,” he said.