Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh while addressing a mammoth public meeting at Bathu in Haroli assembly segment of Una district today said that though many big industrial houses were coming up in the State but main-stay of the economy of the people comes from agriculture and similar allied sectors. As much of the population of the State was residing in villages, the people were more dependent upon cultivating crops said he adding that many were now in the business of producing off-season vegetables and fruits which yields them good profits. He said that the agriculture and animal husbandry sectors, which were the backbone of the economy of the hill people needs to be strengthened more.
Referring to Haroli assembly segment, the Chief Minister said that it has witnessed massive development due to hard-work of its MLA. “It is not like the development was being carried out in Haroli alone but the Government was equally concerned about all the regions of the State”, he said adding our State should be cited elsewhere as a new model of development in the country.
He said that much more is required to be done in the field of development and the participation and co-operation of the people is must. It is wrong to say that the State Government was giving added attention to the Haroli as being claimed by the opposition, he said adding that the Government was endeavouring to equally develop all regions of the State irrespective of region and religion.
“We don’t create divide amongst the people on the issues of development” he added and cautioned few bent upon to carve up the differences and misguide the people.
He said that development in Una was due to successive congress policies in their regimes. More projects were coming up in the State and the Government had taken up the major Swan River project and will finish the work successfully in a time bound manner. He said that all 73 tributaries of the Swan were also being channelized. “In India, Swan was only such a project where not only the main river but also the tributaries of the main river were also being channelized”, he said.
Later, the Chief Minister inaugurated Rs. 27 crore, 132 KV Sub-Station at Bathu which will improve the low voltage problem of the area and also the transmission and distribution losses would be reduced to the minimum. Not only this, the industrial belts of Tahliwal and Santoshgarh, Gurplah, Gondpur, Pubowal, Kuthar, Dulehar, Laleri and in the periphery would be benefited from this. Besides, as many as 25360 domestic, commercial and agricultural consumers of the area will also reap its benefits, added he.
Earlier, the Chief Minister performed the foundation stone laying ceremony of the 33 KV Electricity Sub-Centre at Bathu to be constructed at a cost of Eight crore which will benefit Eight Panchayats of the area with a population of around 8600. He directed the authorities to complete the work of the substation within a year.
He also performed the ‘Bhoomi Poojan’ of improvement and strengthening of Rs 17.50 crore Bankhandi-Jhalera Road, from Punjab border at Santoshgarh to Una.
The Chief Minister announced the office of Sub Divisional Police Officer at Haroli and said that the matter for setting up Electrical division at Haroli would be taken care of after consulting the concerned Minister. The Chief Minister also agreed in-principle for opening tourism Hotel at Una. He announced setting up of Primary Health Centre at Palakwah and up-gradation of Ispur Ayurveda Hospital’s bed capacity from 10 to 20. He also announced to open an Auditorium at Haroli.
Mukesh Agnihotri, Industries Minister while thanking the Chief Minister for dedicating the works worth more than 50 crores in the Haroli constituency and also thanked the MPP and Agriculture Minister for gracing the occasion and for 133 KV and 33 KV sub stations at Bathu in Haroli.
Taking a jibe over the statements of the opposition the Minister said that the BJP had started criticizing the Chief Ministers tour of the area and at last have started analyzing and realizing that development worth crores was taking place in Haroli. He said that it was wrong on the part of the opposition to air the rumours and terming the developments works as “Nautanki’(Drama). Referring to the opposition, he said that why not they took over the charge of the development of the Una district during their tenure? He said that Rs 15.15 crore Ajoli- Laluwal road was under construction and also the 922.48 crore Swan Channelisation project was underway.
Besides, IIIT, number of bridges, Health and Education Institutes in the area were enough to make the opposition realize that equal development was being ensured in all constituencies of the district. He said that Industry worth Rs. 300 crore in Amb in Una district was also coming up soon.
He placed the local demands of the area and listed the development activities in Una district.
Sujan Singh Pathania, MPP and Agriculture Minister, Kuldeep Kumar, Chairman, HP State Finance Commission also spoke on the occasion.
Sh Rakesh Kalia, Secretary, All India Congress Committee, while welcoming the Chief Minister thanked him for undertaking Daulatpur College in Government sector and also appreciated the efforts of Industries Minister for making his constituency a Model of development.
Dr. Simi Agnihotri honoured the Chief Minister and other distinguished guests present on the occasion.
Virendar Dharmani, Member, Board of Directors, HPTDC and District Congress Committee president also spoke on the occasion. Block Congress President Haroli, Ranjeet Singh Rana and Suman Thakur Zila Parishad member also spoke on the occasion and thanked the Chief Minister for dedicating the development works in the area.
Earlier, Smt Surekha Rana, Pradhan Gram Panchayat Bathu and President District Mahila Congress thanked the Chief Minister for dedicating 132 KV electric Sub Station and said that the low voltage problem of the area would be solved and also placed the local demands of the area on the occasion.
Subhash Manglet, Chairman HP State Agriculture Marketing Board, Hardeep Singh Bawa, Chairman, Building Works and Other Construction Welfare Board, Jagdish Chand Saphiya, Chairman, Kangra Central Co-operative Bank, Onkar Sharma, Ex-Vice-chairman HP Agro Packaging Board, Chairman, District Marketing Committee, Shiv Kumar Saini Senior officers of the district, Pradhans, Up-Pradhans, Members of Panchayat Samiti were 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.