CM Pongal gift for rain-hit SMEs

In a big boost to small traders, vendors and roadside petty shop owners, who were hit hard by the recent floods, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today announced a slew of measures, including an interest free loan of Rs 5,000, to revive their business activities
CM Pongal gift for rain-hit SMEs

Chennai

The Chief Minister has come up with several announcements giving a major fillip to small, marginal and medium businesses. In a statement here, she said interest free loans would be given up to Rs 5,000 to street vendors and petty shop owners through co-operative banks. “They will have to repay it at Rs 200 per week for 25 weeks. The government will pay the interest of 11 per cent to co-operative banks. 
If the vendors repay the loan in the stipulated time, they will be provided a similar amount of loan at four per cent interest rate,” she added. The Chief Minister said cooperative banks would hold special camps for ten days for the benefit of small traders in which the beneficiaries to avail the loan would be identified.
Pointing out that 5,000 youngsters were being given loans for small businesses every year under the employment scheme for jobless graduates, Jayalalithaa ordered that qualified youths in the flood affected districts would be given loans up to Rs five lakh with 25 per cent capital subsidy. She also announced relaxation of the condition that the beneficiaries should undergo a stipulated training to avail the loan. 
Stating that she had received requests to exempt small and marginal units from paying for replacing high tension and low tension electricity meters, which would cost Rs 26,000 and Rs 3,500 per piece in flood hit areas, Ms Jayalalithaa said the Tamil Nadu Electricity Board would bear the cost for changing the meters. The Chief Minister also announced a slew of benefits to industrial units in flood hit districts which had received financial help from the Tamil Nadu Industrial Investment Corporation Limited (TIIC). 
The benefits included a moratorium period of up to two years to repay the principal loan amount, temporary loans, additional loans to buy or replace machinery, loan without guarantee and other measures. She also ordered upgradation of infrastructure facilities in industrial estates functioning under the Small Industries Development Corporation (SIDCO) at a cost of Rs 25 crore. 
The Chief Minister expressed the hope that the above measures announced by her would provide immense help to small and marginal entrepreneurs and small businesses who were affected by the recent floods and rain.

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