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Himachal Pradesh budget 2015-16: Highlights

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Today in the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh presented the state budget for the year 2015-16. In his address where he overlooked some of the important issues like Information Technology, he surely assured of providing good governance to the people of Himachal Pradesh.

Main highlights of the Budget

• Practice of obtaining Affidavits for various purposes replaced with Self-Declaration on Plain Paper.

• e-Procurement (e-Tendering) to be extended to more Departments for 100 per cent coverage and transparency in Government procurement process.

• Contract Management Information System to be rolled out in the Departments of IPH and Public Works for timely completion of Schemes and their proper monitoring.

• Amount of ‘Vidhayak Khshetriya Vikas Nidhi Yojana’ increased from Rs. 50 Lakh to Rs. 70 Lakh.

• A new Project on Management of Horticultural Crops in the State amounting to ` 1 Thousand Crore approved for funding by the World Bank.

• Budget outlay of Rs. 210 Crore proposed for continuing the Food Subsidy Scheme.

• Digital Ration Cards to be issued to All Eligible Residents.

• Additional Rs. 4 Crore proposed for Construction of Godowns/Warehouses for increasing storage capacity of Food Grains in the State.

• Rs. 154 Crore ‘Rajiv Gandhi Micro-Irrigation Scheme’ to be launched.

• 50 per cent subsidy proposed for Construction of Lift Irrigation Schemes and Installation of Bore-Wells by the individuals or group of farmers of the State.

• Zone-wise On-Line Soil Fertility Maps to be made available. 1 Lakh Farmers to be provided Soil Health Cards.

• An outlay of Rs. 60 Crore proposed for promoting Off Season Vegetables.

• New Scheme – ‘Establishment of Centres of Excellence for Vegetable Nursery Production’ to be launched.

• 20 Thousand Vermi-Compost Units to be set up with 50 per cent Financial Assistance.

• Rs. 10 Crore will be provided to the HP Marketing Board for Development of Market Yards.

• New Scheme – ‘Uttam Chara Utpadan Yojana’ to be launched for fodder development.

• Chaff-Cutter subsidy to be extended to BPL farmers also.

• New Scheme – ‘Mukhya Mantri Kisan Evam Khetihar Mazdoor Jeevan Surakhsha Yojana’ to provide Insurance cover to the Farmers/Agricultural Labourers.

• 2 Lakh Square Metre area to be covered under Protected Cultivation of High Value Fruits, Flowers and Vegetables.

• 1,000 Hectare additional area to be brought under Revamped Apple Rejuvenation Project.

• 30 per cent additional Subsidy to promote Pollinisation through Honey Bees proposed from the State Government.

• Weather Based Crop Insurance Scheme to be extended to all Blocks of the State.

• Rs. 5 Crore proposed for HPMC for converting three Cold Stores into CA Cold Stores.

• Veterinary Poly-Clinics to be established in Una and Bilaspur districts.

• ‘Gauvansh Samvardhan Board’ to be constituted.

• Milk Procurement Price to be enhanced by Rs. 1 per Litre. HP MILKFED to be provided a Grant-in-Aid of ` 15 Crore.

• New Scheme to set up Milk Processing & Chilling Units by the Dairy Co-operative Societies with 60 per cent subsidy.

• KfW Bank of Germany to fund Rs. 310 Crore for HP Forest Eco-Systems Climate Proofing Project.

• Rs. 20 Crore for additional material for converting Kacha Water Tanks into Poly-Lined/Pucca Water Tanks in convergence with MGNREGA.

• 40,000 Hectare area to be developed under Watershed Development Programme by spending about Rs. 50 Crore.

• 10 Thousand Houses to be constructed under different Housing Schemes, with a subsidy of ` 75,000 for each house.

• Government to release Rs. 109 Crore to Panchayats. Additional Rs.195 Crore also to be released to Panchayats, as per 14th Finance Commission recommendations.

• Farmers and Self-Help Groups to be exempted from payment of Stamp Duty on Mortgage Deeds up to the value of Rs. 10 Lakhs.

• Stamp Duty and Registration Charges for Mortgage to obtain Education Loan up to Rs. 7.50 Lakh to be exempted.

• Stipend to Patwari candidates for training to be enhanced from ` 1 Thousand to ` 3 Thousand.

• Budget provision of Rs. 236 Crore proposed for Disaster Relief.

• Water Treatment Plants/Filter Beds to be provided in all left out 512 Water Supply Schemes in next three years with allocation of Rs. 20 Crore for 2015-16.

• Rs. 45 Crore to be allocated to accelerate the Nadaun Medium Irrigation and Phina Singh Irrigation Project.

• An outlay of Rs. 154 Crore proposed for Minor Irrigation Schemes to cover 3,500 Hectares of cultivated land.

• An outlay of Rs. 50 Crore proposed for Command Area Development Works.

• Rs. 330 Crore will be provided to IPH Department to meet the Energy Charges of Water Supply & Irrigation Schemes.

• An outlay of Rs. 187 Crore proposed for Flood Protection Works.

• Capacity addition of 1,050 MW Hydro-Power to be done in 2015-16.

• Solar Projects to be treated as Industrial Projects. Tariff up to 5 MW capacity to be regulated/approved by the State Electricity Regulatory Commission and entire power to be purchased by HPSEBL.

• 3 LED Bulbs per Domestic Consumer to be provided below market price and the cost at Rs. 10 per LED Bulb to be recovered through electricity bills from consumers.

• VAT on LED Bulbs will be reduced from 13.75 per cent to 5 per cent.

• Energy Efficient Chullahs certified by TERI or approved by Ministry of New & Renewable Energy to be exempted from VAT.

• Rs. 380 Crore to be provided to HPSEBL for subsidising electricity to the Domestic Consumers.

• Rs. 40 Crore to be provided for developing industrial areas in the State and ` 20 Crore to be provided to Baddi – Barotiwala – Nalagarh Development Authority (BBNDA) for various developmental works.

• New industries will be charged Entry Tax @ 1 per cent on industrial inputs.

• Electricity Duty for Specified Extra High Tension (EHT) Category Consumers to be reduced from 15 per cent to 13 per cent, for Medium & Large Industries except EHT from 13 per cent to 11 percent, for Small Industries from 7 per cent to 5 per cent and for any new industry including the new EHT category industry employing more than 300 Himachalis only 1 per cent for five years.

• Two State of the Art Industrial Areas at Kandrouri in Kangra and Pandoga in Una District Rs. 107 Crore and Rs. 112 Crore respectively to be set up.

• MGNREGA Workers having worked for 50 days in the preceding 12 months to be registered as beneficiaries with the HP Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.

• Employment & Career Guidance to be provided in all the District Employment Exchanges, Schools, Colleges, ITIs, Engineering Institutions.

• 800 New Buses for HRTC to be purchased under JNNURM.

• Tax on Transport Vehicles and Contract Carriages will be transferred to the Department of Transport for the benefit of vehicle owners.

• Rs. 10 Crore to be provided for construction of New Bus Stands.

• Grant-in-Aid and Equity of Rs. 200 Crore to HRTC.

• Quality Monitors will be appointed for monitoring the quality of works in PWD.

• Rs. 50 Crore budget provision for installation of Steel Crash Barriers on the Accident Prone Sites.

• State Knowledge Cell on the Climate Change to be strengthened.

• e-Payment for effective and transparent Tax Collection to be made compulsory for all registered dealers under VAT & CST.

• Scheme of Deemed Assessment to the dealers to be simplified. Common Login-id to be provided to all dealers for uploading of all returns under different Acts.

• Trucks entering Himachal with full on-Line Declaration of Goods not to be stopped at Barriers.

• Exemption limit for Dhabas, Halwai, Chai and Chat Dealers will be raised to Rs. 8 Lakhs for payment of VAT.

• Small Traders with less than Rs. 25 Lakh turn-over to be provided a Group Accidental Insurance cover of Rs. 2 Lakhs.

• Inter-State Purchase or Sale also to be brought under Lump-Sum Scheme.

• VAT on Fabrication of Truck/Bus Bodies to be reduced to 5 per cent.

• The CGCR Tax levied on packaged water bottles to be reduced.

• Private parties to be invited to start Helicopter Service from Chandigarh to Shimla and other Tourist Destinations.

• Magicians and Circus performances to be exempted from payment of Entertainment Duty for ten years.

• Tourism Infrastructure Projects of US $ 62 Million to promote Community Based Tourism Activities.

• Aero-Sports Rules to be simplified for encouraging Adventure Tourism.

• Meritorious Students of 10th and 12th Class to be distributed 10,000 Net books/Lap-tops under ‘Rajiv Gandhi Digital Yojana’.

• Vocational Training in 100 more Government Senior Secondary Schools to be extended and 200 Vocational Teachers to be appointed.

• Extension of Two Years in Service to be given to the National Awardee Teachers. One Additional Increment also to be given to them in lieu of Cash Prize.

• One exclusive College for Fine Arts to be opened to promote Visual & Fine Arts.

• Existing ITIs to have additional Demand Driven and Employment Oriented Trades and ITIs at Nalagarh in Solan and Baroh in Kangra to be upgraded as Model ITIs.

• 10 new State of the Art ITIs with related trades and 400 student intake capacity to be opened.

• Only 50 per cent Stamp Duty to be charged from entrepreneurs establishing new ITIs on the private land in Tribal & Hard Areas/Backward Panchayats. Building Grant of Rs. 10 Lakh to be provided to them after starting ITI.

• Regional Vocational Training Institute for Women to be opened at Jhundla in District Shimla.

• HP State Skill Development Corporation to be constituted.

• A Skill Development Institute to be opened for Skill Up-gradation of Construction Workers.

• 8,000 Rural Youth of BPL Category under NRLM and 5,000 Urban Poor under NULM to be equipped with appropriate Skills.

• A budget outlay of Rs. 100 Crore proposed for Skill Development Allowance.

• Indoor Auditoriums for cultural events to be constructed at district headquarters, where such facility does not exist. Rs. 25 Crore budget proposed for the purpose.

• Multi-purpose Indoor Sports Complex to be constructed in district headquarters, where there is no such facility. Rs. 35 Crore budget proposed for the purpose.

• Annual Grant to Youth Clubs to be enhanced to Rs. 20 Thousand.

• All the Accredited and Recognised Journalists to be covered under Group Accident Insurance up to Rs. 5 Lakh and Rs. 3 Lakh respectively.

• Rs. 1 Crore proposed for Construction of Press Clubs.

• All India Institute of Medical Sciences to be established in Bilaspur. 3 Medical Colleges to be established at Nahan, Chamba and Hamirpur at a cost of Rs. 189 Crore each.

• A Super Speciality Block for Tertiary Care Services to be constructed in IGMC at a cost of Rs. 150 Crore.

• Burn units to be established in all district hospitals in a phased manner.

• A pilot Tele-Medicine Project in PPP Mode to be launched in CH Keylong and Kaza and 25 CHCs of Sirmour and Chamba districts and CHC Dodra-Kawar.

• 7,750 Asha Workers to be placed in villages after training.

• 200 posts of Doctors and 500 posts of Para-Medicals to be filled up.

• Blood Sugar Testing facility to be provided at Health Sub-Centre level.

• Geriatric Wards to be started in all district hospitals.

• ‘Mukhya Mantri State Health Care Scheme’ to be launched for Treatment of Basic and Critical Ailments of Ekal Naaris and Senior Citizens above 80 years not covered under RSBY or any medical reimbursement scheme.

• Study on Hill Towns through PPP Mode. Moreover, Solid Waste Management to be taken up on pilot basis in Sunder Nagar and Dharamshala Clusters in collaboration with Government of Netherlands.

• Rs. 30 Crore to be provided for execution of Sewerage Schemes in Urban/Semi-Urban areas.

• Urban Local Bodies developing Parking Lots/Facilities to be supported by providing 50 per cent of the Project Cost for which budget provision of ` 15 Crore proposed.

• Circular/Cart Road in Shimla to be widened.

• Additional Grant of Rs. 3 Crore to be provided to MC Shimla for developing Infrastructure for Specific Schemes in the Merged Areas.

• Mixed Land Use to be promoted in all Planning Areas.

• A new Housing Scheme-‘Land Owners become Partners in development with HIMUDA’ to be launched.

• Financial assistance of Rs. 2,500 provided to Women for Self-Employment to be enhanced to Rs. 5,000.

• System of tracking of pregnancy through Anganwari Workers, Asha Workers and village level Monitoring Support Committees to be institutionalised to check female foeticide.

• Girls belonging to the families having up to two daughters without any male issue to be given preference in the Appointment as Anganwari Workers/Helpers.

• Free Medical Facilities to all girl child up to the age of 6 years.

• Scholarship per girl child from 1st to +2 standard under ‘Beti Hai Anmol Yojana’ to be enhanced by 50 per cent.

• Couples adopting permanent family planning after single girl child to get enhanced incentive of Rs. 35,000 and couples adopting permanent family planning after two girls, to get enhanced incentive of Rs. 25,000.

• Government to bear expenditure on further studies in Government Institutions in respect of Girls Leaving Children Homes.

• Social Security Pension of Old Age, Disabled and Widows to be enhanced to Rs. 600 per month. Persons with Disabilities of more than 70 per cent and Senior Citizens above 80 years to get Rs. 1,100 per month as Pension.

• Integrated Scheme for Older Persons to improve their quality of life to be revamped.

• The Aid under Follow-up Programme for the Purchase of Sewing Machine by Women to be enhanced from Rs. 1,200 to Rs. 1,800.

• A Corpus Fund to be set up with Government contribution of Rs. 2 Crore for Development of Minorities.

• All Bonafide Himachalis qualifying UPSC Preliminary Examination for Civil Services to get Coaching Assistance of Rs. 30 Thousand per candidate.

• Financial Assistance to 2nd World War Veterans to be increased from Rs. 2 Thousand to Rs. 3 Thousand.

• A budget of Rs. 3 Crore for the State War Museum at Dharamshala.

• Rs. 2 Crore to be provided for repairs of Sainik Rest Houses.

• All Police Posts to be designated as Subordinate Police Stations enabling them to register FIRs.

• A State of the Art Centre for Cyber Security Investigations and Innovations to be established.

• 2 more Women Police Stations to be opened.

• One Voice Analysis and One Digital Forensic Division to be created in State Forensic Science Laboratory.

• Remuneration to Home Guards to be enhanced from Rs. 260 to Rs. 280 per day.

• Three more Fire Posts to be opened at Ghumarwin, Sarkaghat and Sunni.

• 6 additional Post/Courts of Mobile Traffic Magistrates to be created.

• 5,000 functional posts of different Departments to be filled up.

• 7 per cent Dearness Allowance & Dearness Relief to the State Government Employees/Pensioners to be released with the salary of April, 2015.

• Income Limit for Compassionate Employment to be raised to Rs. 1.50 Lakh per annum.

• Daily Wage increased from Rs. 170 to Rs. 180.

• Daily Wagers completing seven years of service as on 31st March, 2015 to be regularised.

• Part-Timers completing 8 years of service as on 31st March, 2015 to be made Daily Wagers.

• Honorarium of Part-Time Water Carriers increased from Rs. 1,500 to Rs. 1,700 per month.

• Contract Employees completing five years of service as on 31st March, 2015 to be regularised.

• Maternity Leave to the Contractual Female Employees to be increased from 112 days to 135 days.

• Daily Wager, Part-Time Workers, Aanganwari Workers/ Helpers and Mid-Day Meal Workers to be covered under ‘Mukhya Mantri State Health Care Scheme’.

• Additional Budget provision of ` 30 Crore for Construction of New Government Residences and` 15 Crore for Repair of Government Residential Houses.

• Rs. 20 Crore to be provided for Police Housing.

• Pension Scheme for MGNREGA Workers, Agriculture and Horticulture Labourers, Shop Workers, Other Workers in the Unorganised Sector.

• The Budget for 2015-16 proposed for Rs. 28,339 Crore.

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101 Leprosy Cases Detected in Himachal During the Last One Year  

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leprosy cases in himachal pradesh

Shimla-A Spokesperson of the Himachal Pradesh Government today informed that under the National Health Mission, National Leprosy Eradication Programme (NLEP) is being implemented for the patients suffering from Leprosy. It aims to eliminate leprosy from every district of the Nation by 2030. He informed that the State of Himachal Pradesh has already eliminated leprosy by achieving the prevalence rate of less than 1 per 10,000 population in the year 2000.

The Government Spokesperson informed that the total number of new leprosy cases as detected from 1st April 2021 to 31st January 2022 is 101.

A maximum number of 29 cases were reported from the district Solan, followed by 18 from district Shimla, 12 from district Kangra, 9 from district Chamba, 8 from district Una. The 7 new cases of leprosy were detected in district Bilaspur, 6 in district Mandi, 5 in district Sirmaur, 4 in district Hamirpur and 3 in district Kinnaur. He added that no cases of leprosy were detected in district Kullu and Lahaul & Spiti.

The Government Spokesperson told that active case detection and regular surveillance activity is being conducted by ASHA workers in the villages where leprosy cases have been detected in the last 3 years. This is to ensure the detection of leprosy cases at an early stage to prevent any further disabilities.

He said that the ASHA workers are provided with an incentive for detecting new leprosy cases with or without disability (Rs. 250 and Rs. 200 per case). He added that the contacts of leprosy patients are also traced and provided free treatment post-exposure with a single dose of Rifampicin to prevent further transmission in the community.

The Government Spokesperson further added that the treatment of leprosy is being provided free of cost and available at all Primary Health Centres. The microcellular rubber (MCR) footwear are provided to leprosy patients twice a year. He said to ensure complete treatment of leprosy patients, ASHA workers are incentivized.

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HP Cabinet Decisions: All Educational Institutes to Open from Feb 17th, Several Covid Restrictions Lifted, Read Other Decisions  

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hp cabinet meeting february 14 2022

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Cabinet on February 14, 2022, held a meeting.

The State Cabinet decided to open all the educational institutions in the State from 17th February 2022. It also decided that all gyms and cinema halls would be opened and all kinds of langars would be allowed.

The Cabinet decided to grant revised pension/ family pension to about 1.73 lakh pensioners/family pensioners of the State from 1st February 2022. 

The State government said this decision would ensure the revision of pension/family pension of 1.30 lakh pensioners/family pensioners from 1st January 2016. About 43,000 employees, who have retired between 1st January 2016 and 31st December 2021 would also get revised pension and gratuity.

Now minimum pension/ family pension would increase from Rs. 3500 per month to Rs. 9000 per month from 1st January 2016, the HP government said. The limit of gratuity has been increased from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh from 1st January 2016 which would also be applicable for NPS employees.

Pensioners/family pensioners of the State above 80 years would be provided due additional pension benefit on revised pension/family pension. The Cabinet also decided to provide Invalid Pension and Family Pension to NPS employees of the State Government on which Rs. 250 crores would be spent.

The Cabinet also decided to provide 31 percent dearness relief to the pensioners from 1st July 2021. An annual additional expenditure of Rs. 1785 crore would be incurred on account of the revision of pension. The State Government said it had already provided Rs. 1450.44 crore to the pensioners as interim relief.

The Cabinet gave its approval for the creation and filling up of 8 posts of Sub Fire Officers in the Himachal Pradesh Fire Services Department on a contract basis through Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission.

 It also gave its approval to open three new Sub Fire Stations at Dheera in Kangra district, Bhatiyat in Chamba district and at Rewalsar in Mandi district and three new Fire Posts at Chirgaon in Shimla, Bhoranj in Hamirpur district and South Portal of Atal Tunnel Rohtang.

 It also gave its nod for creating and filling up of one post of Sub Fire Officer, 2 posts of Leading Fireman, 14 posts of Firemen, and six posts of driver-cum pump operator in each newly created Sub Fire Station and one post of leading fireman 

It also gave nod to fill up 12 posts of firemen and four posts of driver cum pump operator in each newly opened Fire Post

The Cabinet gave its nod to the draft of the Memorandum of Understanding between the State Government and M/s NABARD Consultancy Services Pvt. Ltd. for the hiring of Single Resource Consultancy to establish Project Management Unit.

The purpose, the government said, was the implementation of the new centrally sponsored scheme ‘Financing Facility under Agriculture Infrastructure Fund’.  

The government said this scheme would help the farming community as interest subvention and credit guarantee would be given for the post-harvest infrastructure and building of community farming assets like e-market platforms, warehouses, silos, pack houses, cold chains etc

It decided to notify Sardar Patel University Mandi, Himachal Pradesh (Establishment and Regulation) Act, 2022 from 1st April 2022 to set up a new State University at Mandi.

It also decided to open Degree College Ghandalwi in Bilaspur district.

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HP Statehood Day 2022: Relaxation in Electricity Charges, Third Option in New Pay scale, Higher Pay scale to Constables and other Announcements

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Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government, on the 52nd Statehood Day, has made several announcements. It announced 31 percent DA to employees, relaxation on electricity charges up to 60 units, enhancement of annual income for availing benefit of pensions and welfare schemes.

Benefits of higher scales would be provided immediately to all those constables who were eligible for higher scales. All the constables appointed after 2015 would be eligible for higher scale as per other categories of employees, the government announced.

The State Government announced that now while implementing the new pay scale, the employees would be given a third option besides two options already given to them. The State has recently implemented new pay scales for employees of the State Government. The state government said it felt that few disparities existed in the new pay scales of few categories.

Pensioners of the State Government would also be given pension as per the new pay scales of the Punjab government, the government announced.

The government also announced 31 per cent DA to all the employees of the State at par with the Central Government employees. Also, an increase in annual income for availing the benefits of various welfare schemes and pensions for the weaker sections of the society from existing Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000 was announced.

Now, the domestic consumers of the state whose electricity consumption is up to 60 units per month would not be charged any fee per electricity unit.  They would be incurred zero cost per unit of electricity consumed. With this decision, domestic consumers whose electricity consumption is up to 125 units, would be charged only one rupee per unit cost.  Over 11 lakh domestic consumers would be benefitted from this decision and the State government would incur an additional expenditure of Rs 60 crore on providing this relief, the government informed.

For the farmers in the state, the government announced to reduce the present per unit cost of electricity from 50 paise to 30 paise.  This benefit will be payable from April 2022.

Further, the HP Government said that in the year 1971, the per capita income of the state was only Rs 651 which has increased to Rs. 1,83,286, the GDP of the State has gone up from Rs 223 crore in 1971 to Rs 1,56,522 crore. The literacy rate of the State has gone up to 82.80 percent which was 23 percent in 1971. The agricultural production in the state has increased from 954 metric tons to 1500 metric tons and food grain production in 1971 was 9.40 lakh MT which has increased to 16.74 lakh MT, the state government said.

The state-level function of 52nd Statehood Day was celebrated at historic Thodo ground in Solan, where Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur unfurled the Tricolor and took salute from the contingents of Police, IRB Jungalberi, Home Guards and, NCC girls etc.

The parade was commanded by DSP Pranav Chauhan.

The Chief Minister also honoured three war widows of Solan District including Dil Kumari Thapa, Savitri Devi and Nirmala Devi on this occasion. Head constable Sandeep Chandel was also felicitated by the Chief Minister who has been awarded Prime Ministers Police Medal for life-saving for the year 2018.  

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