The Cabinet in its meeting held here today approved fresh consolidated guidelines for opening new Fair Price Shops (FPS) wherein first preference of allotment would be given to Ekal Naris, Widows raising children on their own, Mahila Mandals, Co-operatives of women or other collectives of women and physically handicapped persons.
Chief Minster Virbhadra Singh presided over the meeting.
The second priority for allotment of fair price shops would be to Ex-servicemen/unemployed education person with no family members in regular employment followed by Gram Panchayats and cooperative societies as third and fourth option respectively. The FPS is generally to be opened for a population of 1500 or above and in Tribal, remote and inaccessible/sub cadre areas of the State, the norms can be relaxed up to a population of 1000 or above or 150 ration-card holders.
For efficient operation of Targeted Public Distribution Scheme and to make availability of sufficient warehousing facilities for food grains in the State, the cabinet agreed upon for transfer of land belonging to Food and Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs Department to HP State Civil Supplies Corporation for construction of Godwons on token lease money of one rupee.
The Cabinet approved that 50% promotional avenues for appointment in HAS will henceforth comprise of 25% from Tehsildars and 25% from other categories based on inter-se seniority, out of which 17% will be from the BDOs cadre. It was also decided that appropriate training in revenue matters be ensured for all feeder categories on appointment in HAS.
The Cabinet approved the proposal of not allowing any Technical and Vocational educational Institutions to make admissions in any course in violations of the prescribed norms of Central and State Regulating bodies from the session 2014-15, failing which the regulating body will take action as per the regulations to ensure maintenance of academic standards which is a prerequisite for respectable placements of the students.
The Cabinet in its meeting held here today decided to enhance the honorarium of tailoring teachers from Rs. 1600 to Rs. 2000 per month thereby fulfilling the commitment the Chief Minister made in his budget speech.
The cabinet gave its consent for up-gradation of Kupvi Sub-Tehsil to Tehsil and opening of Sub-tehsils at Deha in Chopal and Haripur Dhar in district Sirmaur.
The Cabinet approved for starting three new trades in Government ITI at Shahpur in district Kangra from academic session 2014-15 which includes that of a Plumber, Mechanic (Refrigeration and Air Conditioner) and Digital Photographer. It was also decided to start one new course in each of Government Polytechnics at Rohru, Chamba and Kangra.
It also approved for inviting global bids for Jangi-Thopan-Powari (960MW) HEP. The Cabinet approved the extension in Commercial Operation Date (COD) of small Hydroelectric projects upto 5 MW capacity. Besides, the Cabinet cancelled the Baggi Nallah Small Hydel Electric Project (SHEP) and Ghayagi project falling in district Mandi and Kullu respectively. Apart from this, nod was given to restore the cancellation of Joiner II (3MW) SHEP in district Chamba.
The Cabinet allowed relaxation in the norms for the construction of Jakhu ropeway which includes 6 Nos Habitable floors besides the height of the building etc. under HP Municipal Act 94. The Cabinet also approved for the construction of multilevel parking at Tutikandi. The 11 storey building will have parking facility on its 8 floors besides two floors will be used for office and one for restaurant.
Consent was given to fill 12 posts of Lady Village Development Coordinators (LVDCs) on contract basis and also allowed the department of rural development to obtain the services of 15 Data Entry Operators on out-source basis.
The Cabinet agreed upon to issue NOC to open B.Sc. (Nursing) training institute of Shankutla Memorial Charitable Trust Chamba with annual intake of 40 students.
Cabinet also gave its nod for making Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College Kangra at Nagrota-Bagwan as a constituent college of the Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur so as to avail grant-in-aid on the analogy of Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Engineering College, Sundernagar and Atal Bihari Vajpayee Government Engineering College, Pragatinagar.
It also agreed for inviting applications for allotment of SHEPs upto 5 MW capacity on the basis of identified and self-identified projects.
It approved to amend the rules for grant-in aid to non-Government colleges.
It also gave its nod to fill posts of District Treasury Officer through direct recruitment through the Public Service Commission. It also approved to fill up 30 posts of Junior Engineer in PWD Department on contract basis through direct recruitment.
The Cabinet approved for transferring the PWD Divisions of Sarkaghat and Dharampur, which are under the administrative control 8th PWD circle Hamirpur, under 1St PWD Circle Mandi. Besides, the Cabinet approved creation of additional Division for NH-305 i.e. Sainj-Jalori-Banjar-Aut road. The Cabinet agreed to set up Special Land Acquisition Unit (SLAU) at Pandoh in Mandi for four laning Ner Chowk-Kullu-Manali road.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.