Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while presiding over the closing ceremony of Rajmata Shanti Devi under-19 district level Boys school sports Tournament, at Senior Secondary School, Taklech, in Rampur Subdivision of District Shimla, here today said that he was very much pleased to be amongst the students on the occasion and congratulated the teachers and other faculty members and people of the area for successfully conducting the tournament.
He said that he was well aware of the problems of the people of the area regarding road connectivity and directed the PWD authorities to complete the road to Kashapat as soon as possible, the work on which was going on war-footing. He said that the people of the State had an important place in his heart and he was committed for overall development of the State. He said that it was late Dr. YS Parmar, the first Chief Minister of the State, who dreamt of making Himachal a separate State and due to his initiatives and efforts of former Prime Minister late Pandit Jawahar lal Nehru and late Smt Indira Gandhi that Himachal Pradesh became 18th State of Indian Union. It was the Indian National Congress which gave impetus to the development in the State as opposite to the BJP, which was bent upon to divide the people of the State on the basis of caste, colour and region.
The successive Congress Governments have always taken care of the grievances of the people of the lower belts of Himachal Pradesh and took a decision to hold Vidhan Sabha sessions in Dharamsala in district Kangra”, he said adding that it shows the concern of the Government for all the people equally.
He said that it was painful that the opposition was not playing a constructive role and regular walkouts and hullabaloo during the budget sessions had become a routine affair, which affects the development policies.
“The opposition always abstained from attending the Vidhan Sabha Sessions and discussing the issues of development” he said, adding that it causes delay in taking important issues and decision to be taken for the welfare of the people of the State.
He said that the Sports should not be politicized but few people and politicians in the State committed many irregularities in the name of Sports under the garb of Cricket Associations, which won’t be allowed in our state. No body would be allowed to play with the future of our sports-person or budding players of the State in any game may it be cricket, hockey or any other game and the guilty would be brought to the book.
The Chief Minister cautioned that no one in the State will be allowed to play with sentiments of players by forming fraudulent companies or organizations which beats the true spirit of the games, if formed for self gains.
He said that the demand of taking up sub-tehsil issue would be looked upon depending upon the formalities to be completed and in consultation with the cabinet. The Chief Minister assured that the matter for setting up Gas agency at Taklech would be taken with the central Government and directed the Deputy Commissioner to take up the matter.
Later, he inaugurated Rehan Basera Guest House at Rampur constructed at a cost of Rs. 40 lakh.
The Chief Minister was accorded warm welcome by Rajinder Singh Rana, Principal of the Government Senior Secondary school Taklech who also detailed about the tournament in which as many as 700 students of eleven zones participated. The Chief Minister was also welcomed by Sports in-charge and Assistant District Physical Education officer, Joginder Singh and School Management Committee President Mohinder Thakur on the occasion.
The Chief Minister took salute of an impressive march-past and also distributed prizes to the students.
Nand Lal, Chief Parliamentary Secretary, while welcoming the Chief Minister thanked him for dedicating projects worth crores in Taklech today and said that the people of Taklech and its surrounding seven to eight Panchayats were thankful to the Government and especially to Virbhadra Singh for carrying out development activities in the area. He said that the people of the State would ever remain indebted to the Chief Minister for undertaking massive development activities all over the State whether it be education sector, IPH, roads, electricity, health or welfare sectors.
The Theog Zone was declared as the all around best in the tourney bagging maximum prizes in different events.
Earlier, Pradhan of Taklech Panchayat, Nandlal Busheri, Pradhan of Taklech Congress Zone Kishan Mashtu and Congress Mahila Zone Smt. Sunita Thakur honoured the Chief Minister and other guests present on the occasion.
The delegation of Gram panchayat Kashapat, led by its up-pradhan Phula Singh, presented a cheque of Rs 21 thousand towards CM relief Fund. The Chief Minister appreciated their efforts and said that the contribution made by them from their well earned earnings will go a long way in serving the poor and the needy.
A colourful cultural programme was also displayed on the occasion.
Chairman Kailash Federation, Brij Lal, Vice-Chairman HPSIDC, Atul Sharma,District Congress President (Rural), Smt Chander Prabha Negi, Chairperson Mahila Congress, Kehar Singh Khachi, Block Congress President, Satish Verma, President Beopar Mandal Rampur, Harish Gupta, Representatives of Himachal Pradesh Physical Education Teachers Asociation, Pradhans and up-Pradhans of nearby Panchayats, Deputy Commissioner, Dinesh Malhotra, Superintendent of Police, D.W Negi and other senior officers of the district were also present on the occasion amongst others.
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.