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Budget for the year 2013-14 presented by Virbhadra Singh main highlights

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Every department in State Government will scrutinize it¡¦s Acts, Rules and Guidelines and suggest amendments to simplify the procedures and to make them citizen centric.

A State Commissioner (Public Grievances) to be appointed to monitor timely disposal of public grievances.

An Administrative Boundaries Re-organization Commission¡¨ will be set up for re-organization of boundaries of administrative units of various departments.

A State Innovation Fund to be set up with an initial outlay of Rs. 5 crore to encourage departments to try new initiatives.

Direct Benefit Transfer under all state scholarship and welfare schemes.

An outlay of Rs. 175 crore proposed for the state food subsidy scheme.

Annual plan outlay of Rs. 4100 crore proposed for 2013-14.

Each MLA to be given a budget of Rs. 2 lakh as discretionary grant fund.

Integrated Crop Diversification Programme¡¨ to be started to bring additional 3000 hectare area under vegetable cultivation.

Mukhyamantri Adarsh Krishi Gaon Yojna¡ under which 68 selected panchayats will be given a grant of Rs. 10 lakh each for agricultural infrastructure.

Production of mushroom will be treated as an agriculture activity.

Organic Certification Agency to be established to provide the facility of organic certification to the farmers in the state.

Seeds of high yielding variety of maize, paddy and fodder to be provided at 50% subsidy to the farmers for the coming kharif season.

Token tax exempted for tractors for agriculture purpose.

One Panchayat in each district which is completely free of stray animals to be given an award of Rs. 5 lakh.

Financial assistance to the NGOs/Trusts for setting up and running of Gaushalas for provision of cowsheds, fodder etc.

Procurement price of apple, mango, kinnow, malta and galgal to be increased by 50 paisa per KG.

Anti hail nets to horticulturists on 80% subsidy.

Procurement price of milk increased from the existing Rs. 17.80 to Rs. 18.80 per litre w.e.f. 1st April, 2013.

Rs. 1 crore 90 lakh to be provided for renovation of inland fish landing centres near reservoirs.

Six new monkey sterilization centres to be started.

New ICDP project for Shimla, Kangra and Kullu districts.

Housing Grant under Rajiv Awas Yojna and state housing schemes to be increased from Rs. 48500 to Rs. 75000.

Bi-monthly reimbursement of Rs.350 to be given to BDOs, Tehsildars, Naib Tehsildars and officers in charge of police stations, chowkis and fire stations for use of mobile phone.

Water supply at 70 LPCD to additional 2500 habitations, 2000 hand pumps to be installed during the next financial year.

High Powered Committee for speedy clearances of Hydro projects.

Rs. 270 crore to subsidise domestic consumers of electricity.

Rs. 75 crore equity contribution to HPSEBL.

Provision of Rs. 230 crore for payment of energy charges for lift irrigation and lift water supply schemes.

Three new state of the art industrial areas to be developed in district Una, Solan and Kangra.

Clearances for industrial projects to be made time bound and brought under Public Services Guarantee Act.

Concessional CST of 1.5% on the existing industrial units and 1% on new industrial units.

Rs. 10 crore to be provided for construction and upgradation of the Bus Stands at sub-divisions and blocks.

Grant and equity of Rs.160 crore to HRTC in 2013-14.

Facility of filing e-returns, e-declaration, e-tax payment and issue of C&F forms to be extended to registered dealers having annual turnover of Rs. 40 lakh and above.

Registration fee under the H.P. VAT Act, Central Sales Tax Act, Passenger & Good Tax Act and Luxury Tax Act to be abolished for the new dealers.

HP Traders Welfare Board to be revived.

9% VAT on all types of footwear.

VAT on aviation turbine fuel to be reduced from 5% to 1%.

New hotels in the backward panchayats to be exempted from payment of luxury tax for a period of 10 years.

Free travel facility to government school students for going to and coming from schools in HRTC buses w.e.f. 1st April, 2013.

Patients suffering from cancer and spinal injuries and those on dialysis to be provided free travel facility in HRTC buses along with one attendant.

Re-opening of schools denotified and closed by the previous government.

PTA grants to Lecturer School Cadre to be increased from Rs. 7250 to Rs. 10875, for the TGT from Rs. 6950 to Rs. 10425, and for C&V teachers from Rs. 6750 to Rs. 10125.

Smart classrooms to be started in 618 Government Senior Secondary Schools and 837 Govt. High Schools.

Vocational education in 100 new senior secondary schools.

5 thousand meritorious students of 10th and 12th class to be provided Net books/tablets under Rajiv Gandhi Digital Student Yojna.

Student of Himachal Pradesh who gets admission in IITs, IIMs or AIIMS to be given a cash incentive of Rs.75 thousand.

New ITIs will be opened in all the Vidhan Sabha constituencies without a government ITI.

New engineering college under RUSA in District Kangra.

Cash prize given to the outstanding players of the state to be doubled. Award money of Parshuram awardees to be enhanced from existing Rs. 50000 to Rs. 1 lakh.

Monthly incentive to be increased from Rs. 15000 to Rs. 25000 and from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 40000 to encourage PG doctors to opt for interior locations.

Higher Education Allowance for doctors acquiring PG Degree to be raised from Rs. 5000 to Rs.7000 PM and for those acquiring PG diploma from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3500 PM.

VAT on cigarette, cigar etc. to be increased from 18% to 36% and on bidis from 11% to 22%.

At least 20% women to be recruited at constable and Sub Inspector level.

Assistance given for remarriage of widows and inter caste marriage to be enhanced from Rs. 25000 to Rs. 50,000.

Mahila Kalyan Board¡¦ will be set up in the state.

Allocation of Rs. 1014 crore under the Scheduled Caste Sub Plan and Rs. 369 crore under Tribal Sub-Plan.

Social Security pension to be increased from Rs. 450 to Rs. 500 pm. Pensioners above 80 years of age will be given pension @ Rs. 1000 PM. All pending applications to be cleared.

Assistance under ¡¥Mukhya Mantri Kanya Daan Yojna¡¦, to be raised from Rs. 21000 to Rs. 25000 w.e.f. 1st April, 2013.

Ex-servicemen pension to be raised to Rs.500 per month from 1st April, 2013.

Amount of War Jagir to be increased from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 3000.

Grant of uniform allowance to non-gazetted ranks of police to be doubled.

10 courts of Additional District and Session Judge and 2 courts of Civil Judge (Junior Division) will be set up in the State.

Skill Development Allowance¡¨ of Rs. 1000 per month to be given to 10+2 and above educated unemployed youth. This rate will be Rs. 1500 per month for persons with disabilities. Interest subvention of 4% to be given up to project cost of Rs.1.50 lakh.

State Skill Development Council¡¦ to be established.

2000 posts of teachers of different categories, 500 posts of data entry operators/computer operators, 500 posts of water guards, 500 posts of patwaris, 250 JEs/ surveyors, 200 forest guards, 200 posts of Panchayat sahayaks and 100 posts of nurses and all vacant posts of doctors to be filled up.

Winter allowance for employees in tribal and hard areas increased from Rs. 200 to Rs. 300 per month.

Fixed Medical allowance for employees and pensioners increased from Rs. 250 to Rs. 350 per month.

Contractual employees completing 6 years of service, Daily wage employees completing 7 years of service as on 31st March 2013 to be regularized as per norms.

Part timers including part time water carriers in the education department who complete 9 years of continuous service as on 31st March 2013 will be made daily wagers as per norms.

Financial assistance to the registered workers engaged in building and construction activities to be enhanced.

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Himachal Records a Sharp Spike in Daily New Covid Cases and Deaths, Two More Test Positive for Omicron

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh on Monday witnessed a major jump in the number of both daily Covid-19 positive people and Covid-19 related deaths. While the state recorded 2446 new cases, six people died due to Covid-19 related illnesses in the last 24 hours. The Kangra district reported four of these days. The Covid-19 death toll has jumped to 3880 in the state and the active cases to 12142.

Further, Solan (359) reported the highest number of cases, followed by Kangra (348), Mandi (312), and Sirmaur (310). The capital reported 289 new cases.

Himachal Pradesh has also reported two new cases of the Omicron variant. Both cases were reported from the Una district where two people had returned from foreign countries. Reportedly, one of them had returned from Dubai and the other from France. So far, the state has recorded three cases of the Omicron variant, according to the official statistics.

Daily Covid-19 Report Issued by HP NHM for January 17, 2022 (Till 7 pm)

Omicron cases in Himachal pradesh

The daily sampling, however, remains low despite a rise in positivity rate. On Monday, according to the statistics of the HP Health Department, 12,850 samples were taken. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been directing the officials to increase testing, but the number remains below 15, 000 per day.

According to the official statistics, last week (10 Jan – 16 Jan), Himachal Pradesh had reported 11280 new cases and the positivity rate rose to 14.1%.

Though the HP Government has imposed some Covid-19 restrictions, the entry of visitors to the state was yet to be restricted or regulated.

The surge is likely to continue till the third wave of the pandemic peaks in Himachal. Health experts and the state government had already warned about the advent of the third wave.

The government and experts had been urging the people to follow Covid-appropriate behavior and follow related protocols strictly to minimize the impact of the third wave. However, the compliance was reported to be quite low among all sections of the society and within the government itself.

The daily sampling, however, remains low despite rise in the positivity rate. On Monday, according to the statistics of the HP Health Department, 12,850 samples were taken. Chief Minister Jairam Thakur had been directing the officials to increase testing, but the number still remains below 15, 000.

According to the official statistics, last week (10 Jan – 16 Jan), Himachal Pradesh had reported 11280 new cases and the positivity rate had risen to 14.1%.

Though the HP Government has imposed some Covid-19 restrictions, the entry of visitors to the state was yet to be restricted or regulated.

The surge is likely to continue till the third wave of the pandemic peaks in Himachal. Health experts and the state government had already warned about the advent of third wave.

The government and experts had been urging the people to follow Covid-appropriate behavior and follow related protocols strictly to minimize the impact of the third wave. However, the compliance was reported to be quite low among all sections of the society and within the government itself.

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HP Cabinet Decisions Jan 14, 2022: No New Covid Restrictions, Nod to Tax Waiver for Transporters & Other Decisions

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HP Cabinet Decisions January 14, 2022

Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on January 14, 2022. It was expected that the state government could take a decision on imposing more Covid-19 restriction considering the sudden surge in daily new cases, however no such decision was taken. 

The Cabinet took various decisions including a nod to dispense with the process of 15 marks evaluation and enhancement of weightage of written test from 85 to 100 marks for direct recruitment to Class-III posts.

Tax Waivers for Transporters

The Cabinet gave its ex post facto approval for 100 percent waiver/ exemption of Token Tax, Special Road Tax and Passenger Tax of various categories of vehicles to provide relief to the transporters keeping in view the effect due to corona pandemic.

HP Cabinet decided to waive of remaining 50 percent Token Tax on Stage Carriage, Taxi, Maxi, Auto and Contract Carriage buses, Institutional Buses and 100 percent Token Tax on Contract Carriage Buses and Special Road Tax on Stage Carriage with effect from 1st August 2020 to 30th June 2021. I

The Cabinet also decided to waive off 100 percent Token Tax on Stage Carriage, Contract Carriage and Institutional Buses and Special Road Tax of Stage Carriage with effect from 1st July 2021 to 30th November 2021.

It also decided to waive off 100 passenger tax on contract carriage and institutional buses with effect from 1st April 2020 to 30th November 2021.

The HP Cabinet gave its approval for restructuring of State Taxes and Excise Department. Creation and filling up of posts would be carried out by the Department in a phased manner in consultation with the Finance Department and sync with the restructuring proposal.

The Cabinet gave its approval to fill up 108 posts of different categories in the Revenue Department on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 42 posts of Silk Inspectors in the Industries Department on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 13 posts of different categories in the Printing and Stationery Department.

It decided to fill up three posts of Statistical Assistant in Revenue Department on contract basis.

Relief to Flood Affected Farmers of Lahaul-Spiti

The Cabinet gave its nod to provide relief to flood-affected farmers of Lahaul-Spiti district for current agriculture and horticulture losses caused due to extensive rains on 27th to 30th July last year. The farmers would be provided Rs.2000 per bigha for losses between 25 to 50 percent, Rs. 2500 per bigha for losses between 50 to 75 percent and Rs. 3000 per bigha for losses to agricultural and horticultural crops above 75 percent. Rs. 3000 per bigha would also be provided to farmers for losses to their lands caused due to landslides/flash floods/avalanches etc. and Rs. 1000 per bigha would be provided for the desilting of agricultural and horticultural lands. 

It also gave planning permission for the construction of the PHC building between Lions Club and Housing Block No. 46 in Sector 6 New Shimla with relaxation beyond permissible norms in the public interest.

HP Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy-2021

HP Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy-2021 for clean and green energy development through expeditious of full energy potential especially hydro and solar. The Government aims to add 10000 MW of green energy through hydro, solar and other green energy sources by 2030 and the development of green energy sources

It also aimed at developing a transmission Master Plan to facilitate planning and timely execution of hydro and solar projects. It also lays stress on renewal energy sources viz. solar, wind, biomass and other non-conventional energy sources.

HP Swarnim Jayanti Sports Policy 2021

The Cabinet gave its approval to the Himachal Pradesh Swarnim Jayanti Sports Policy 2021 to develop and maintain sports infrastructure, encourage public-private participation in creating sports infrastructure, coordinate with educational institutions for the promotion of sports and to encourage, train and support sportspersons for participation and excellence in national and international championships with high standards of ethics. 

 

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Covid Restrictions Increase as Himachal Reports a Big Spike With 1200 New Cases in 24 Hours

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a sudden spike in the number of daily Covid-19 positive cases as warned by the health experts and the government. In a span of eight days, the rate of new cases has jumped to more than double.

On Monday, of the total 9942 samples tested for Covid-19, 1200 were found to be positive with two Covid-19 deaths.  This number was below 500 on Sunday.

The surge has come ahead of the `warning of the third wave which is expected to peak by the March-end.

The state government has begun to increase restrictions as a precautionary measure. But the most crucial measure – restrictions on visitors from outside the state- is yet to be attended. Currently, Hill state is reporting a huge footfall of tourists due to snowfall. All tourist destinations are crowded with tourists as it’s the peak season. The imposition of restrictions on visitors would affect the tourism industry.

Also Read: HP Govt Closes Educational Institutes in State in Wake of Surge in Daily Covid-19 Cases

The HP Government has already imposed a night curfew, closed all educational institutes, banned all social and religious gatherings and imposed conditions on the number of people for those which have been allowed, shifted to a 5-day week for the government offices with only 50% attendance. Further, timings of the opening of the markets/shops have also been modified. However, these restrictions wouldn’t apply to chemists/medical stores. These restrictions would remain in force till January 26, 2022. 

Also Read: HP Govt Offices to Operate 5-Days a Week with 50% Attendance, Ban on Social and Religious Gatherings

In the Shimla district, the shops/markets would be allowed to open between 10 am to 7 pm.  However, motor mechanics are allowed to remain open till 11 pm. Similarly, restaurants can remain open till 10 pm, and those located along the National Highways till 11 pm.

In the Una district, all shops/markets except some would be allowed to open only till 6:30 pm and will remain closed on Saturday.

The district administration of Hamirpur has decided this timing to be between 6 am to 6 pm. The markets would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday except for those selling essentials.

For the Kullu district, shops/markets would remain open till 6: 30 pm and 6 pm in Solan. Similarly, administrations of respective districts have the liberty to create their roaster for these timings.

The return of these restrictions to the state and the warning of more daily cases during the next couple of months is causing a panic in the public, worsened by speculations of a possible lockdown in stock.

 

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