In a letter, UCCI President Ramesh Mohapatra also requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi to waive electricity bill for a month and ask banks to sanction required funds to MSME units for their restoration expeditiously. The Utkal Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) of Odisha has urged the Centre to relax the interest rate on loans, applications of GST for at least three months, and partially waive loans for MSMEs affected by Cyclone Fani, say media reports.
In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, UCCI President Ramesh Mohapatra said, “The recent devastating Cyclone Fani that hit Odisha coast on May 3, 2019, ravaged a number of vital establishments and units involved in industrial production and trade and commerce activities. The industrial units, as well as Trade and Commerce establishment of these places, have suffered a lot in the aftermath of Cyclone Fani.”
Cyclone Fani was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the Indian state of Odisha since cyclone Phailin in 2013, and has recorded about 89 total fatalities. Puri, Khurda, Cuttack, Kendrapara, Jagatsinghpur, and Bhubaneswar in Odisha have been the worst victims of the cyclone. Through the letter, the UCCI also requested the PM to waive electricity bill for a month, and ask banks to sanction required funds to MSME units for their restoration expeditiously. The letter also stated to release incentives for immediate restoration of the hotel industry in Puri to accommodate the travellers during Rath Yatra to be held in the month of July.
A copy of the letter was also sent to Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and state MSME Minister. In a separate letter to Secretary, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development, Mohapatra requested the authorities to enhance the upper cap limit of Capital Investment Subsidy (CIS) to Rs one crore from present Rs 50 lakh for reconstruction and restoration of poultry units. According to various media reports, Odisha requires Rs 17,000 crore for rebuilding the infrastructure devastated by the cyclone. On May 3, 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government had released over Rs 1,000 crore in advance for the State affected by cyclone Fani