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Himachal’s cut in electricity duty to lure industrial investments and other cabinet decisions

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SHIMLA- Himachal Pradesh Cabinet announced decisions on various matters during its meet yesterday.

In order to provide industrial friendly environment for attracting new investments in the State, the Cabinet decided to reduce electricity duty so as to facilitate the new industrial units fulfilling the announcement made by the Chief Minister in his budget speech.

It also approved amendments in H.P. Village Common Lands Vesting and Utilization Act, 1974 pertaining to conferment of proprietary rights to Chakotadars. A Scheme for Grant of Proprietary Rights over the land leased/allotted by Panchayats under the Punjab Common Land (Regulation Act), 1962 would be made effective after completing all formalities.

The cabinet gave approval for opening of Sub-Divisional Police Office at Jawalamukhi in District Kangra and at Paddar in district Mandi.

It was also decided to upgrade Police Post at Khundian to Police Station and start four new Police Posts at Jol under Police Station Bangana, Dadasiba under Police Station Dehra, Jangla under Police Station Chirgaon and Majheen under Police Station Khundian and to also create 46 posts of different categories therein. Approval was given to fill up 20 vacant posts of Sub Inspectors by direct recruitment in Police Department.

The Cabinet decided to cancel the allotment of Anni-II (1.50MW) and Anni-III(1.50MW) hydro- electric projects as the promoters failed to execute the projects in time, causing revenue loss to the Government. The projects were allotted to M/s ABB Power Private Ltd in the year 2000.

It was decided to permit transfer of Baspa-II and Karchham Wangtoo hydro-electric power plants from Jaiprakash Power Ventures Limited (JPVL) to its subsidiary Himachal Baspa Power company Limited (HBPCL) and sale of securities of HBPCL to JSW Energy Limited.

The Cabinet also decided to cancel as many as 20 projects and forfeiting their security for non-seriousness in carrying out the work on such projects.

It gave nod to transfer the land on lease basis to Director General, Central Institute of Plastic Engineering and Technology (CIPET) for establishing CIPET-Vocational Training Centre (VTC) at Sandoli Baddi in Solan district and also transferring of land for establishing Indian Institute of Management (IIM) at Dhaulakuan in district Sirmour.

Approval was given to start B.Tech in Electrical Engineering with intake capacity of 60 seats in Rajiv Gandhi Government Engineering College , Kangra at Nagrota Bagwan along with creation and filling up of various posts.

Approval was also given by the Cabinet to declare Government Engineering College Kotla at Jeori in Shimla district as a constituent college of Himachal Technical University, Hamirpur on the same analogy.

It approved creation of six Courts of Mobile Traffic Magistrates in the rank of Civil Judge (Junior Division) along-with supporting staff.

The Cabinet decided to transfer government land in relaxation of Nautor Rules as a special case to as many as 36 effected persons of village Shmah, Paonta Sahib, whose houses were damaged and their fields destroyed due to heavy rains in the year 2013.

The decision was taken that the apple procured under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) would be disposed of as per past practice and the decision for arrangement of sale of MIS apples near the procurement centres was withdrawn.

The Cabinet approved amendment in sub-rule (3) of Rule 56 of the Himachal Pradesh Co-operative Societies Rule, 1971, by enhancing the existing financial limit from Rs. 1000/- to Rs. 5000/- in respect of Primary Societies and Rs. 8000/- in respect of Secondary and Apex Societies per month for recruiting new employees without seeking prior approval of the Registrar, Co-operative Societies.

The Cabinet approved for upgradtion of three posts of Principal Secretaries to Additional Chief Secretary in the IAS cadre.

It decided for selection and imparting training to 242 candidates in order to fill up vacant posts of Patwaris in Settlement wing of Revenue department besides engaging retired Patwari/Kanungos on contract basis in the interim period to tide over the vacancy position till the availability of trained Patwari. Further, it also approved creation and filling of multipurpose workers in each Patwar circle of each district on part time basis.

The Cabinet gave approval to fill up 100 vacant posts of Ayurvedic Pharmacists on contract basis in Ayurveda Department, besides filling up three posts of Professors in Ayurveda College Paprola.

It decided to fill up 71 posts of Horticulture Development Officers on contract basis through H.P. Public Service Commission as per existing R & P Rules and also to fill 75 posts of Horticulture Extension Officers . It also approved to create one post of Principal Scientific Officer by upgrading post of Senior Scientific Officer in the State Pollution Control Board.

It gave nod to fill up 200 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on contract basis in Higher Education Department, besides creation of posts for smooth functioning of State Project Directorate of RUSA.

Approval was accorded to fill up 35 posts of Clerks on regular basis from Limited Direct Recruitment (LDR) quota as well as 70 posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) on contract basis in IPH Department.

The decision was taken fill up the post of PET and DPE in Plus Two School for Institute for children with Special Abilitiesat (Boys) at Dhalli in Shimla.

The Cabinet decided to create a new IPH Division at Nagrota Bagwan as well as a new IPH Sub Division at Tanda in district Kangra along with creation of different posts of categories.

The Cabinet also decided to fill 10 vacant posts of clerks from Home Guards volunteers in Civil Defence and Fire Services Department.

It was decided to fill up various 54 posts for smooth functional of Panchayati Raj Department through direct recruitment.

The Cabinet gave its nod to create different category of posts (Information and Technology) in newly created Sub-Division Election Offices at Jawalamukhi, Dharampur, Mandi (Rural), Sujanpur and Shilai.

Approval was accorded by the Cabinet to exempt Magical and Circus shows from paying entertainment duty for a period of ten years w.e.f. April, 2015 under Section 12(3) of the Entertainment Duty Act, 1968.

The Cabinet also approved amendments in H.P. Aero Sports Rules 2004.

It approved the proposal to reduced rate of VAT from 13.75% to 5% in respect of Bitumen and Coal-tar of all kinds.

The Cabinet also approved amendment in Himachal Pradesh Forest (Timber Distribution to the Right Holders) Rules, 2013.

It also approved for implementing Himachal Pradesh Court Fee (e-stamping) Rule 2015.Approved was given to build a new HP PWD Rest House House at Kwar in district Shimla.

The Cabinet decided to enhance the financial assistance to the Second World War soldiers and their widows from Rs. 2000/- to Rs. 3000/- per month.

The Decision was taken to enhance the compensation, relief and rehabilitation grants to the members of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes who are victims of atrocities under SC/ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

It was decided to issue UWIN smart cards (Social Security Cards) to un-organized workers including those who are presently enrolled under RSBY as per instructions of Government of India under Shram Shakti Pehchaan campaign for registration of unorganized workers.

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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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Covid Restrictions in Himachal Extended Till Jan 31st, State Reports 11 Deaths in 24 Hours

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Covid restrictions in himachal pradesh 2022

Shimla-Covid-19 restrictions in Himachal Pradesh has been extended till January 31, 2022. Currently, the state is witnessing a sharp spike in daily Covid-19 cases and deaths. Today, despite a low sampling of 7896, the State reported 1766 new cases and 11 Covid-related deaths. During the last eight days,  the State has recorded over 50 deaths due to Covid-19.

The deceased included a 2-year-old female child too. Shimla district reported the highest five deaths. The Covid death toll in the state had risen to 3927 according to the latest update. But the State did not impose any new restrictions, like on the entry of visitors and curtailing capacity of public transport. Further, during the last 24 hours, Shimla, Solan, and Kangra districts reported more than 250 cases each. 

Covid restrictions in himachal pradesh extended

 A notification in this regard was issued by the Government of Himachal Pradesh (Revenue Department – Disaster Management Cell) on Monday. 

“Taking note of the present situation of Covid-19 in the State, the restrictions announced on January 5th, 8th, 9th, and 13th will continue to remain in effect till 6 am of 31st January 2022,” the notification said.

Programs scheduled on the occasion of Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day ( 25th January) and Republic Day (26th January) would be held on the condition of 50% capacity of indoor/outdoor spaces.

The educational institutes, including ITI, polytechnic colleges, and coaching institutes, would remain closed. Online classes, however, would continue in schools.

With the ongoing surge in daily cases and deaths, more restrictions could be in stock.

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Mandi Hooch Case: Political Storm Over Arrest and Expulsion of Hamirpur Congress Leader

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Hamipur district congress neeraj thakur

Mandi-On Sunday, the Himachal Pradesh Congress Committee expelled General Secretary of the Hamirpur District Congress Committee following his arrest from Chandigarh in alleged connection with the Mandi hooch case.

It’s pertinent to mention that last week seven persons had lost their lives in two days and eight others are still hospitalized due to consumption of spurious liquor in Salapar area of Sundernagar Tehsil, Mandi district. Following this tragedy, a police SIT was formed, various places were raided, seizures of incriminating materials were made, several persons were arrested. So far, the police have arrested 13 persons in this connection and more arrests could be made as the SIT unfolds layers of people involved.

Neeraj Thakur, who was said to have risen to a political leader from a salesman at a liquor shop, had created an empire for himself allegedly from the illicit trade of spurious liquor. The worth of his properties and assets is being assessed, but the initial reports suggested his assets were disproportionate to his income. Now every political leader he was in contact with is under the scanner of the police SIT.

Also Read: Mandi Hooch Case: HP Police Claim Bursting Large-Scale Illicit Liquor Trade, Nabs Kingpin

According to Superintendent of Police, Mandi, Shalini Agnihotri, on Sunday, police detained Praveen Thakur, who is a resident of Hamirpur, two persons, identified as Sunny and Pushpender of Uttar Pradesh, AK Tripathi of Jammu and Kashmir, and Sagar Saini of Delhi. The police have claimed that it has also apprehended the kingpin.

The state Congress chief and the opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri who had been issuing statements holding the BJP government responsible for the Mandi hooch tragedy is on backfoot following the expulsion of Neeraj. At the same time, the failure of the state Excise and Taxation Department in checking this flourishing illicit trade of spurious liquor right under its nose is also evident.

State BJP general secretary Trilok Jamwal, State BJP spokesperson Baldev Tomar and co-media-in-charge Karan Nadda on Sunday issued statements referring to the expulsion of Neeraj as evidence that the Congress leaders were involved in, as well as, patron of liquor mafia in the State.

Further, with elections to the Shimla Municipal Corporation and elections to the state Assembly later this year, this issue has turned into a political storm.  

According to the SIT investigation, the illicit liquor factory was operating in Hamirpur District and raw materials were procured from both within and outside the State. The police said that Gaurav Manhas appears to be the kingpin of the illegal trade. Gaurav, with the assistance of Praveen, Pushpender and Sunny from UP, was running this illegal bottling plant at Hamirpur building owned by Praveen.

In addition, the DGP informed, Manu and Gagan were his partners in the bottling plant busted under the jurisdiction of Police Station Nalagarh. Gaurav has a strong network of distributors and supply chains for raw materials and finished liquor.

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