Meghalaya CM Conrad K Sangma during a media briefing on Thursday

Shillong: The Meghalaya Cabinet on Thursday approved 7 agendas including reimbursing 2% of interest that was charged on Kissan Credit Card loan, Chief Minister’s Rural Development Fund and the Chief Minister’s Special Urban Development Fund converged as one. Another agenda was introducing manufacture and sale of homemade fruit wines in the state and cess to be charged on additional 14 items.

Addressing the media after the meeting, Meghalaya chief minister Conrad K Sangma informed that the first agenda was concerning the interest subvention scheme to Kissan Credit Card (KCC) farmers in the state. It was after a meeting was held by the Agriculture department and Finance Department that the government decided to reimburse 2% of their interest.

“I am happy to inform to all our farmers that those farmers who had availed the KCC loans the state government of Meghalaya will be reimbursing 2% of their interest. This has been to support the farmers during the time of COVID. We understand that the farmers and public in general have faced a lot of challenges during this crisis so this was one of the steps taken,” informed Sangma.

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Another agenda taken up was that the Chief Minister’s Rural Development Fund and the Chief Minister’s Special Urban Development Fund which has an amount of Rs 8 crore and Rs 4 crore, respectively, will now be converged as one under the banner of Chief Minister’s Special Development Fund.

Sangma said, “Earlier these funds were implemented through the respective Urban Affairs and Rural departments, but in the interest of improving the efficiency and ensuring that the time spent on processing the files reduced. These two schemes have been converged into one scheme now under the banner of Chief Minister’s Special Development Fund and in future which will be implemented by the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. This will be the same fund amounting to Rs 12 crore but it will now be implemented by the CM’S Secretariat and the purpose is to ensure that the implementation is done at a faster pace.”

The Cabinet has now introduced the manufacture and sale of homemade fruit wines. Under this rule the government will be formally creating rules where individuals can now make homemade wines and sell in the market. “This will help farmers whose produce sometimes goes to waste they will be helped with this particular process but at the same time the aim is to promote entrepreneurs who will get job opportunities through this rule and framework,” said Sangma.

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The state government will ensure that the ad valorem paid by these home made fruit wine producers will be much lesser compared to other products. Only Rs 100 per case will be the ad valorem fees and no VAT will be levied on these producers. The license fees for these producers will be Rs 7,500 per annum. These can be opened up by individuals, by different corporative societies or companies who would like to go into this.

“This will not only boost the wine sector in the state but it will go a long way in helping the farmers who produces a lot of fruits in the state,” added Sangma.

Another agenda taken up was the Meghalaya Settlement of Arrears (under State Taxation Acts) Ordinance, the rules for Meghalaya Settlement of Arrears 2020 has been approved today, informed Sangma.

The Cabinet also approved the Remission of Stamp Duty on Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme and PM SVAnidhi Scheme. The government has exempted the stamp duty fees that are to be charged on this Emergency Credit Line Guarantee Scheme. Sangma said that this will allow the small time loan takers to easily avail it and this is also being done throughout the country.

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The Cabinet has also notified the rules for the Meghalaya Court Fees E-Payment. Sangma informed that earlier it was allowed to be paid through online mode so the rules on how they can be made were notified.

The last agenda taken by was the Amendment to the Meghalaya Minerals Cess Act 1988.

Sangma informed that the Cabinet has to increase the number of items and minerals on which Cess can be charged. Cess will now be charged on additional 14 items.

The Cess collected will be used for other items like health and water supply and physical infrastructure apart from education.

It is also proposed that levy and collection of tax from persons who extract or remove minerals from any land in addition to mine or quarry will also be charged. The government expects through this the overall revenue of the state will improve under the Cess.

Earlier the state ha been able to collect Cess amounting to about 48 crores in 2018-19 and it increased to 73 crores in 19-20. The government expects that additional 40-50 crores more to come in with the new items added in the Cess list.



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