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Misc News/Press Release

HP Budget 2017-18: As expected, govt. announces Rs. 150 crore for unemployment allowance to youth



HP Budget session 2017-18 Unemployment youth

SHIMLA- The Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, on Friday, announced unemployment allowance to  educated, but unemployed youth of Himachal Pradesh. The announcement came during his budget speech for 2017-18 session in which Rs.150 crore were set aside for the said allowance. As per the scheme, a youth who is, at least, 10+2 pass or above will receive Rs. 1000 per month as unemployment allowance. For physically challenged youth, the allowance will be Rs.1500. As per the data provided by the employment exchange, Himachal has estimated 8.5 lakh educated youth. Earlier, the CM had shown resistance to the demand and had said that the government would prefer to provide employment to the youth instead of making them dependent on allowance. Please, click here to read the detailed budget with other announcements for the session.

Critics are of the opinion that the announcement is likely to kill two birds with one stone. Congress had promised the allowance to unemployed youth before 2012 Assembly elections. However, government didn’t implement it during four years of its tenure. Now, ahead of assembly elections, in the last year of its tenure, the announcement was made after preparing a dramatic atmosphere, suggest critics. Congress MLA G.S. Bali and Sukvinder Singh Sukhu recently raised the demand like rebellious,true leaders of people. Mr. Bali reminded the CM regarding the promise made in the previous assembly elections and even announced a protest rally in Nagroata, Kangra. It was pointed out that political parties always tend to conceal their internal disputes and disagreements, especially ahead of the assembly election. So, it’s obvious to doubt the liberty taken by Congress’s own leaders to come after the CM towards the end of government’s tenure.

Nevertheless, the opposition was already after the Congress government over the issue of allowance. Initially, the Chief Minister showed some resistance and said that only one of two allowances, namely skill development and unemployment allowance, would be given. The resistance was followed by fight for justice by Congress’s own leaders. Now, as the harvest of this plot was ready, the government has reaped it on time. Mr. Bali is taking credit for bringing the matter to justice as promised before previous election. Mr. Bali believes Rs. 1000 allowance would be sufficient for expenses on amenities like Internet connection, monthly magazines, and travel for job interviews. That’s what his Facebook status said.

The government, too, is claiming credit for it. Moreover, it’s another setback for the opposition who earlier had something to criticize. It would not be inappropriate if now BJP seek answer for the delay in fulfilling the promise. In that sense, it does appear to be a political plank.

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Madan has studied English Literature and Journalism from HP University and lives in Shimla. He is an amateur photographer and has been writing on topics ranging from environmental, socio-economic, development programs, education, eco-tourism, eco-friendly lifestyle and to green technologies for over 7 years now. He has an inclination for all things green, wonderful and loves to live in solitude. When not writing, he can be seen wandering, trying to capture world around him in his DSLR lens.

Misc News/Press Release

Rohit Kumar Saval joins as CM Jairam’s media adviser



Rohit Kumar Saval

Shimla: Rohit Kumar Saval, who has an extensive experience in media, today joined as Media Advisor to Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur, at Shimla. Later he called on the Chief Minister and discussed issues related to media in the State.

Chief Minister said that Rohit Kumar Saval has been working for a long time with media and has a rich experience of working at State and National level. He said the role of media is very important in the dissemination of programs and policies of the state government.

His appointment as an advisor will strengthen media liaison as well as promote professionalism in the government system, he said.

Political Advisor to Chief Minister, Trilok Jamwal, OSD to Chief Minister, Mahender Kumar Dharmani, Additional Chief Secretary-cum- Principal Secretary to Chief Minister, Manisha Nanda, Director, Information and Public Relations, Anupam Kashyap, were also present on the occasion.

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Misc News/Press Release

HP E-Vidhan wing gifts Galaxy Note 8, laptop, printer to all MLAs, ministers



HP E-vidhan wing gifts mlas

The government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work.

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government on March 16, 2018, gifted electronic devices including a Samsung Galaxy Note 8, which currently costs between 68,000 to 70,000 INR, a laptop, and a printer to all the elected members of the 13th Assembly including the council of ministers.

The average cost per MLA is estimated to be above one lakh INR. The total cost touches almost 1 crore INR. The Information and Technology Minister, Ram Lal Markanda, personally visited the Speaker Rajiv Bindal to deliver the gifts.

The news has attracted criticism from several groups, especially on social media and regional online news portals. The Bhartiya Janata Party has been opening scathing attacks on the previous Congress government over a debt of 46,000 crores INR.

Also, the state government did not take timely cognizance of the media reports about a 16-year-old poverty-stricken girl of Solan district who required lakhs of rupees to undergo a kidney transplant after she lost both of her own kidneys.

In the list of priorities, the gifts did come above the announcement of relief money to the girl.

Therefore, the reason for the criticism was quite apparent.  

It is being speculated that some of the MLAs have even sold or handed their copies of devices to subordinate staff or family members as they already had high-end smartphones.

However, the government said that these gifts were given to the MLAs and ministers by the E-Vidhan wing of the HP Vidhan Sabha and will be used for official work  during the current government tenure.

The Speaker said, the MLAs and Ministers will be given training regarding the operation of these electronic devices.

The effect of this step will be visible directly or indirectly in coming days. The government’s explanation that these electronics were gifted as part of the E-Vidhan program will be visible if all the recipient make themselves available to the public online.

Currently, the State government’s official websites are either not user-friendly or are in tatters and hardly contains latest data or information.  As we had mentioned earlier, the official website of the State government has still not updated the name of the Chief Minister.

The average response rate to e-mails is critically low for the government departments and the offices of the ministers.

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Misc News/Press Release

16-year-old Solan girl suffering complete kidney failure might live as HP Govt comes to rescue: Reports



Solan girl kidney failure case

Shimla: Deepika, a 16-year-old girl of Darlaghat region of Himachal Pradesh’s Solan district, who was about to die after both of her kidneys failed, has finally seen a ray of hope. The mother, who is a widow, was helplessly watching her daughter dying on the hospital bed.    

A resident of Kashlog panchayat in Solan, Deepika is admitted at the PGI, Chandigarh. The hospital had asked the parents to arrange a donor along with depositing Rs. 19 lakh for the kidney transplant.

Before approaching the PGI, she remained admitted to the Indira Gandhi Medical College, Shimla.  

The mother, Sukhdai, came ahead as a donor. Despite having a donor, the widowed mother found herself unable to arrange this gigantic amount required for the transplant.

The call for help first appear on social media and made rounds of Facebook and WhatsApp before reaching the Hindi dailies. A couple of social organizations did extend monetary support, which proved to be insufficient.

Himachal Watcher also contacted the girl’s mother and talked to her about the status of monetary assistance from the government.

With the help of the local journalists, she was filing the required documents to complete the formality to get the monetary help from HP Chief Minister’s fund, she told Himachal Watcher today.

As per sources, a delegation of local journalists had also met the Chief Minister and apprised him of the situation.

HW had also written to the Chief Minister, the State Health Minister, Vipin Singh Parmar, and the Union Health Minister Jai Prakash Nadda seeking their attention to the dying girl.

It is pertinent to mention that the government was facing outrage on social media over the delay in taking cognizance of this critical issue related to life and death of a school-going girl. It was an opportunity for the new government to show commitment to its “Beti Bachao, Beti Padha’ campaign, and it should not lose it.  

Moreover, a couple of days ago, all the elected members of the State Legislative Assembly were given new Samsung Galaxy Note 8, a laptop, and a printer. The estimated price of the Galaxy Note 8 is between Rs. 68,000 to 70,000. 

The questions were being raised as to why the government spent over one lakh on each MLA while a girl dies of poverty.

So finally, as per sources,  the Chief Minister has immediately directed the hospital to prepare for the transplant process along with submitting the estimated cost of it.

Now, Deepika may soon get on her feet and join back her school.

Stay updated on the go with Himachal Watcher News App. Click here to download it for your android device.

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