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Himachal gets Rs 40,625 crore grant after 232 % hike

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SHIMLA: The recommendations of 14th Finance Commission have come as bonanza for Himachal which would get 232 per cent increase in allocation of funds against just 52 per cent hike by the previous commission which made total allocation of Rs 21,691 to the state.

With 69 percentage point higher increase than national average of 163 per cent hike, total devolutions, including share in central taxes, are expected to cross Rs 70,000 crore as revenue deficit grants would go up from 7,889 cror to Rs 40,625 crore.

Increase in state’s share in central taxes from 32 to 42 per cent would push up the share from Rs 11,328 crore to Rs 28,225 crore.

The 14th Finance Commission has increased the grants for local bodies from Rs 640 crore to Rs 1,799 crore and grants under State Disaster response Fund disaster preparedness have been increased from Rs 670 crore to Rs 1,304 crore including state’s share of Rs 130 crore.

Similarly Rs 98 crore have been provided for Judiciary and performance grant of Rs 221 crore to urban and rural local bodies.

Expressing his gratitude to 14th Finance Commission for good overall award to all the states, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that unfortunately the 13th Finance commission had given least increase of only 50 per cent over the 12th Finance commission award of Rs 14,450 crore.
Had the state received the average increase of 126 per cent, Himachal would have received additional Rs 10,750 crore and it would have had comfortable cushion during the award period from April 1, 2010 to March 31, 2015, he said.

He said consequently, the percentage share of Himachal in award had also significantly gone up to 1.61 per cent from 1.27 per cent of the previous award which proves effectiveness of the state government to forcefully put forward its case and convince the Commission about the expenditure needs, cost disabilities as also the limited potential and scope to raise revenues.

The Chief Minister said that amongst Post Devolution Revenue Deficit Special Category States, the share in Revenue Deficit Grant was a robust indicator to judge the efficacy of pleadings of a state before the Finance Commission.

In this award, the share of the state of Revenue Deficit Grant has gone up to 20.90 per cent from 15.23 per cent in previous award.

He said the award for Himachal Pradesh was better than Punjab and Uttrakhand states.

Former Himachal chief minister P K Dhumal, BJP national secretary Srikant Sharma and state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti has also hailed the award and said that the NDA led Government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was functioning by rising above petty political

Misc News/Press Release

Bat deaths in Himachal not due to Nipah Virus, Don’t panic: Govt

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Nipah virus in Himachal Pradesh

Shimla: To put an end to the rumours of Nipah virus outbreak in Himachal Pradesh after dead bats were found in Sirmaur a couple of days ago and then in Mandi district on Friday, the State Government today issued a statement asking people not to panic about it.

Apart from the outbreak of Nipah Virus in two districts of Kerala State no information regarding its spread has been reported from any other part of Himachal as well as the country, stated Additional Chief Secretary, Health B.K. Agarwal in a meeting held here today.

He said that only fruit bats (flying fox) have been found carrying this virus. These types of bats are found in the coastal regions of the county.

Therefore, there is no possibility of Nipah Virus in the bats found in Himachal Pradesh.

He said that the bats reported having died in the state were not due to the virus as these species do not die by Nipah Virus.

Agarwal said that a few days back samples from dead bats in Sirmaur were collected and sent to the National Institute of Virology (NIV), Pune for testing and all the samples were reported negative for Nipah Virus.

Additional Chief Secretary has advised people not to panic about the Nipah Virus. He said that all the medical colleges of the State were prepared to deal with the situation if needed.

Officers of Health, Animal husbandry, Forest & Horticulture department were present in the meeting, chaired by Agarwal.

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Misc News/Press Release

Met predicts state-wide rains in Himachal on May 31 and June 1

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rain prediction for himachal in 2018

Shimla: As a ray of hope amid acute water-scarcity prevailing in Himachal Pradesh’s various regions including the capital town Shimla, the Meteorological Department, Shimla, has predicted state-wide rain with thunderstorms on May 31 and June 1.

If lucky, four districts including Kangra, Kullu, Mandi, and Shimla can receive a spell of rain on May 29 and 30 too.

With the rains, the people also hope to see a relief from the scorching heat of summer sun and forest fires. The Fire Department is reportedly facing trouble in dousing forest fires due to water scarcity.

As per the Met department, District Bilaspur and Una recorded 41℃ and 43℃ temperature on Saturday.

The farmers in rural areas and the public in towns, both are facing a hard time due to a shortage of water. Shimla town has run into a situation of chaos as the Mayor Kusum Sadret on Friday left for her China visit. The situation is such that the Chief Minister had to call an emergency meeting with Irrigation & Public Health Department to take stock of the situation.

The High Court had also taken cognizance of the media report and directed the Union Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation to provide adequate funds to the State for water-supply schemes worth over Rs. 700 crores.

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Environment

400 fire watchers deployed, Rs. 1.75 cr. sanctioned for checking forest fires in Himachal: Forest Minister

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Forest fires in himachal pradesh

Shimla: The Forest Minister of Himachal Pradesh Govind Singh Thakur today informed that four hundred fire watchers have been deputed across the State and added that Rs. 1.75 crore has been sanctioned by the GoI for checking and management of fire incidents in the State.

Every year, forest fires in summers turn a large amount of forest wealth to ashes. 

He said that State government has started a new project from this year for management of fire incidents by spending Rs. 1 crore additionally.

He also claimed that with a view to check the number of forest fire incidents in the State, the department implemented an awareness campaign in the month of March which proved effective and a lot of support and cooperation is coming from people in tackling fire incidents.

He said that about 9500 people got connected to the website of Forest Survey of India Dehradun which proved helpful to them in receiving information about fire incidents in their areas.

He said that the department also started a toll-free number for receiving this information. He said that the information regarding fire incidents is coming faster this year as compared to previous years due to these measures and action is being taken instantly.

He urged the people of the State to extend support to the department.

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