Kerala demands special package for small scale industries

Thiruvananthapuram, May 14: Kerala Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan has demanded a special package for small scale industries and entrepreneurs. He said the financial package announced by the Union Finance Minister does not address the demands of the small scale entrepreneurs.

Addressing the media, the Chief Minister said, “The small scale entrepreneurs had raised two demands. One, give a one-year moratorium on existing loans and avoid interest during this period. Two, sanction new loans. In the central package announced yesterday, only the second demand was considered and that too, at the mercy of the banks. Waiver of interest has not been considered during the moratorium period. The announced package only has nominal spending from the Union government’s budget and this has to change. Banks are refusing to sanction loans during this difficult time.” The CM added that the State Government will try to bring together the banks and industries to make effective interventions that will benefit the entire economy.

The fixed charge of electricity has now been postponed but the State would need the help of the central government to write off the charges. In addition to that, workers in the small scale sector need to be given financial aid. If the State has to get central assistance to pay PF, the clause that stipulates the salary requirement of below Rs 15,000 must be removed.

States have to bear the brunt of the Rs 90,000 crores subsidy granted to power companies. But the state government is yet to receive any financial assistance. The Kerala Government hopes there will be a change in the approach in the coming days.

“The Union Finance Minister should discuss these issues with the State Finance Ministers and come up with a clear strategy to help the states continue their healthcare and social security activities. This is even more necessary at this point when the State’s revenues are at minimum and expenses have doubled. Compared to the March 19-April 19th period, Kerala has a revenue loss of Rs 6,451 crores”, he added.

*Register on Covid Jagratha portal before booking train tickets: Kerala CM*

Chief Minister Shri Pinarayi Vijayan today informed that he has brought to the notice of the Union Railway Minister, Shri Piyush Goyal about the issues regarding the special trains announced by the railways to Kerala.

“Those who book through the IRCTC website can travel and these train to Kerala have stoppages at various places. This undermines the measures taken by the state government to prevent the spread of the disease as we do not know the passenger details. I have asked the Railway Minister to allow the online booking of train tickets to Kerala only for those who register on the government’s Covid Jagratha portal. I have also asked the Railway Minister to run special non-stop trains from other places to Kerala so that people stranded there due to lockdown can return to Kerala. This should in addition to the trains being announced and run by Railways now”, he added.

Minister of Health & Social Justice, Smt K K Shailaja; Revenue Minister, Shri E Chandrasekharan, and Chief Secretary, Shri Tom Jose IAS were also present during the briefing.

*Kerala Covid-19 Tracker*

*26 new cases and three recoveries today, total 64 patients under treatment*

Thiruvananthapuram, May 14: Kerala today saw a spurt in the number of Covid-19 cases with 26 new cases being confirmed during the day. Ten persons in Kasargod district, five from Malappuram district, three each in Palakkad and Wayanad districts, two from Kannur district, and one each from Pathanamthitta, Idukki and Kozhikode districts are those who tested positive.

Seven of them have recently returned from abroad – five from UAE and one each from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. Seven have come back from outside Kerala – four from Mumbai, two from Chennai and one from Bangalore. 11 are cases of local transmission – seven in Kasargod district, three in Wayanad district and one in Palakkad district. This includes two health workers in Kasargod district and one police personnel from Wayanad district. The person in Idukki was detected through tests conducted as part of Sentinel Surveillance.

Briefing the media, Chief Minister, Shri Pinarayi Vijayan said, “The rise in the number of new cases are an indication of the crisis we are facing but we are confident that we can overcome this pandemic. We will use all resources available at our disposal to tackle the situation. We will be rolling out a specialised treatment protocol.” The Chief Minister also condoled the death of 124 Malayalees who have so far died outside Kerala due to Covid-19.

At the same time, three patients under treatment for Coronavirus have recovered today. Two patients in Kollam district and one from Kannur district are those who tested negative.

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the State is 560 and presently 64 patients are under treatment in different hospitals.

There are 36,910 persons under surveillance in different districts across the State now. Of these, 36,362 are under quarantine at their homes and 548 are under isolation at hospitals. 174 persons were admitted to hospitals today.

Till now, 40,692 samples have been sent for testing and 39,619 samples have been confirmed with no infection. As part of sentinel surveillance of high-risk group, 4,347 samples were collected separately and tested. Out of these, 4,249 samples have tested negative.

19 places have been removed from the hotspot list today and presently, there are 15 hotspots in Kerala now.

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