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HP Cabinet approves HP Heritage Tourism Policy, benefits for agriculturists, computer operators, panchayats



HP Cabinet Meeting October 2017

Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in a meeting held on October 4 took several decisions and approved several projects. People, especially the government employees were expecting some major relief as it was the last cabinet meeting before the code of conduct comes into force in wake of upcoming Vidhan Sabha Elections. 

In the meeting, the cabinet approved the ‘Himachal Pradesh Heritage Tourism Policy’- 2017.

The policy is expected to help preserve the heritage buildings, forts, palaces, lodges, mansions etc. that possess historic lineage spanning from princely States to British Raj times.

The policy is expected to open new areas in the State for tourism activities like a glimpse of historical and cultural heritage of Himachal, first hand experiencing of lifestyles and traditions from the times of princely States and the architectural grandeur of British times.

Token Tax on Tractors Exempted

The Cabinet also decided to exempt the token tax on tractors used for agriculture purpose. Earlier, a person was required minimum one-hectare land in order to acquire a tractor for agriculture purpose. Now, the government has removed this condition and the recovery of arrears of token tax has also been stayed till further directions.

The Cabinet gave its approval to provide regular pay scale to 105 computer operators with effect from July 1, 2017. It will be applicable to candidates who have completed three years of their engagement under MNREGA till March 31, 2017, along-with allowances from MNREGA administrative contingency.

MNREGA for Rural Roads

The Cabinet decided to approve ‘Mukhya Mantri Rural Road Repair Scheme’ under MNREGA for rural roads.

As per the Scheme, for renovation, the roads will be selected by the concerned Panchayats after gaining approval in the Gram Sabha.

The government expects the Scheme will offer employment to the village people along with improvement in the condition of the roads.

The Cabinet agreed to start PG classes in English and Commerce at Government College, Nerwa in district Shimla from academic session 2017-18.

It was decided to frame a policy for re-employment of motivators engaged in externally aided projects as Mid Himalayan watershed development Project.

Other Important Decisions

The Cabinet gave its approval to adopt standard staffing pattern/model organizational structure in Election Department as fixed by Election Commission of India.

The Devta Sahib Laxmi Narayan, Nogli Mela of Shimla was declared a state level fair.

The cabinet also approved the amendment in Recruitment and Promotion rules in IPH department to provide additional promotional quota to work inspectors.

About110 staff nurses will be appointed for Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College, Chamba and 13 more staff nurses in health department.

The Cabinet gave its nod to upgrade 24 Sub Centers 12 each in districts Kangra and Sirmaur as Health and Wellness Centers on pilot basis through Hindustan Latex Ltd.

The Cabinet decided to create one post of Deputy Drug Controller in Health and Family Welfare department.

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Misc News/Press Release

Himachal’s senior journalist Sunil Sharma passes away at 49



Himachal's senior journlist sunil sharma dies

Shimla: A senior journalist and the State Bureau Chief of the Hindi daily Divya Himachal, Sunil Sharma, today passed away suddenly. He was 49-year-old and was at his house in Jakhu, Shimla while he died.

The media community and political leaders including the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, Governor Acharya Devvrat, and Director, Information and Public Relations Anupam Kashyap have extended their condolences.

Media persons begin to pay visits to the bereaved family as soon as they received the news. The cause of sudden death has not disclosed yet officially.

The CM Jai Ram Thakur said Sunil Sharma was a committed journalist, and always maintained ethics of journalism. He said that his demise has created a void in the field of journalism.

The Chief Minister along with Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj visited the residence of Sunil Sharma at Jakhu and expressed their sympathies with the bereaved family members.  

Governor Acharya Devvrat expressed his sympathies with the grief-stricken family members.

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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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