Will do away with Himachal’s ‘retired & tired’ officers and VIP culture: Jairam
The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.
Shimla: The Chief Minister-designate Jairam Thakur, in his first media interaction, made admirable announcements over vital issues like firing “retired and tired” officials and abolishing the VIP culture. The first thing the new government would do is to send all those employees home who were re-appointed by giving them extensions after their retirement, said Thakur.
Secondly, the new BJP government would abolish the prevailing VIP culture, he told the media.
Firing unworthy, retired bureaucrats, who were granted extension as incentives for their loyalty to the ruling Congress party, is a much-needed action to cut-lose the additional financial burned on the State and to pave way for promotion of worthy and deserving officials.
All the retired and blue-eyed bureaucrats who were re-employed by the previous government will have to go now,
he told the media.
Further, all decision taken by the government during the period of three months before elections would be scrutinized and reviewed, Thakur told the media, which means re-shuffling of the bureaucrats as per the suitability of the party. It is not about political vendetta or revenge, he explained.
The oath-taking ceremony of Thakur will be held on December 27 on the historic Shimla Ridge Maidan, which will be attended by the Prime Minister, BJP Chief Amit Shah, and over a dozen of Chief Ministers of other states.
Though still to sworn in, Thakur has been given all facilities provided to the CM, and his mobility has also increased as the CM.
On December 25, Thakur visited the patients at the Deen Dayal Upadhyay Hospital on the occasion of the birthday of the former Prime Minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
Pursing works of “social good and alleviate suffering” was cited to be the main motto of his government.
Meanwhile, after a boisterous show and lobbying for the top post, the elected MLAs are eyeing seats in the 11-membered cabinet of Himachal.
Thakur says his cabinet would incorporate both new and old generation leaders.
The cabinet will have both experienced and new faces, he said.
The speculated names for the Cabinet includes Rajeev Bindal, Kishan Kapoor, Sarveen Chaudhary, Mohinder Singh, Anil Sharma, Narinder Bragta and Ramesh Dhawala. Among the new faces, Gobind Thakur, Vikram Jaryal, Rakesh Pathania and Rajeev Sahjal are believed to be the eligible candidates that the government could include in the Cabinet.
The State Transport Authority Secretary Vinay Singh has been appointed Principal Private Secretary to the Chief Ministers.
The hopes of the people from the new, younger Chief Minister are sky-high owing to his individual image and political history.
The 13th Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, a five-time Member of the Legislative Assembly of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur hails from a poor family of farmers in Tandi village of Mandi’s Thunag region, and he has struggled a lot for education. This is what Thakur and his octogenarian mother, Biri Singh, told the media about the family background.
His mother is the happiest of all among those who wanted to see Jairam Thakur as the Chief Minister.
My son has seen extreme poverty in his childhood,
My childhood was like any other village lads. My parents worked in the fields, and for us (three brothers and two sisters) life was not a luxury due to our father’s limited earning,
Thakur told the English daily Indian Express.
I realised my parents could not have afforded my college education, so I did not force them to. I used to work with my parents and helped augment the family income until I managed to collect money for college,
The new to be Chief Minister has an image of clean politician, and hardly any controversy surrounds him despite a long political career in which he has not only represent the Seraj constituency as the elected MLA but also held the command of the State unit of the Bhartiya Janata Party in Himachal from the year 2009 to 2013.
Thakur had done a much better job as the party president than the current chief and defeated candidate Satpal Singh Satti.
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.