Shimla: Today, the new Cabinet of the Himachal Government was formed. Along with Jairam Thakur, who sworn-in as the Chief Minister, 11 other ministers also assumed their offices. Right after the oath-taking ceremony, Jairam Thakur held first meeting with his cabinet ministers.
As per the analysis of the Association of Democratic Reforms (ADR) Three ministers are 12th pass, eight are graduates, and one minister is PhD. Five ministers, Anil Sharma, Govind Singh Thakur, Mahender Singh, Kishan Kapoor, and Bikram Singh have criminal cases against them.
The new cabinet has two ministers in the age group of 41 to 50 years, while six are in the age group of 61 to 70 years. Remaining four are in age group of 61 to 70 years.
Let us take a brief look at the new cabinet:
It is obvious that Jairam Thakur is the leader of the council of the ministers. He was born on 6 January 1965 in Tandi village of Murahag panchayat of Seraj Assembly constituency in Mandi district. His father’s name was Jethu Ram and mother’s name is Briku Devi. Thakur did his primary education from Kurani School and studied in High School Bagsyad near Thunag.
In 1998, he won his election from Chachiot Assembly constituency and has been MLA from Chachiot (which after delimitation was known as Seraj Assembly constituency).
He won for five consecutive terms as an MLA. He remained State BJP President and was Cabinet Minister in previous BJP government. He has also remained as Vice Chairman, State Civil Supplies Corporation. He also remained as President of BJYM. He has declared total assets worth Rs 3.28 crore.
- Mahender Singh was born on 22 February 1950.
- He was elected to State Legislative Assembly in February 1990 as an Independent.
- Elected again in 1993 as Congress candidate.
- In 1998 elected on HVC ticket in 2003 as Lok Tantrik Morcha (H.P.) candidate.
- Won in 2007 on BJP ticket.
- He also won 2012 Assembly election as BJP candidate.
- For being elected to the Assembly in five consecutive elections, on five different election symbols has been recommended for entry in the Guinness Book of World Record.
- He remained Minister of Rural Development, Panchayati Raj and PWD from March 1998.
- He resigned from the Council of Ministers in December 2004.
- He also remained Chairman, Estimate Committee besides being Member of various other House Committee.
- Total Assets declared Rs 15.38 crore
- Kishan Kapoor was born on 25 June, 1951.
- Remained Member Bhartiya Jan Sangh and Janata Party before being associated with the BJP.
- Kapoor was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 1990 as BJP candidate.
- He was re-elected to the Assembly in 1993 and 1998.
- Elected to State Assembly again in December 2007 and appointed Transport Minister.
- Total Assets declared Rs 7.99 crore
Suresh Bhardwaj was born on 15 March 1952 at Village Bhamnoli, PO Summerkot, Tehsil Rohru, district Shimla
- He had also won the last Assembly election 1n 2012.
- He is a BSc and LLB and remained actively involved in student movement during college days
- He was the National Secretary of ABVP from 1973-74.
- He remained in jail on several occasions, particularly during the emergency.
- He was elected as the Convener, Himachal Pradesh Loktantrik Morcha in 1977
- He was elected President of the Janata Yuva Morcha from 1978-81.
- He was elected as the Himachal Pradesh BJYM National Treasurer in 1987-88.
- He was elected as the President State Bhartiya Janata Party from 2003-2006.
- He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 1990 and to Rajya Sabha in 2002.
- He remained Member of various standing Committees of the house as also the Consultative Committee of various ministers.
- Returned to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2007 and appointed Chief Whip of Bhartiya Janata Legislature Party and Chairman, Human Development Committee of the house.
- Total Assets declared Rs 93.53 lakh
- Anil Sharma was born on June 30, 1956.
- He is BSc (Diary Technology).
- Sharma was elected to State Legislative Assembly in November 1993
- He remained Minister of State for Youth Services, Sports and Forest from 1993-96
- He remained Member Rajya Sabha, 1998-2004.
- He was elected again to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2007.
- He remained General Secretary Pradesh Congress Committee and Chief Whip, Congress Legislative Party.
- He was elected to State Legislative Assembly in December 2012 and remained Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister.
- Total Assets declared Rs 40.20 crore
- Sarveen Chaudhary was born on 21 January, 1966 at Dharamshala
- She did MA in classical dance and Diploma in Yoga, Painting and Cookery
- She took part in Nehru Yuva Kendra and NSS activities during student life
- She remained an active worker of R.S.S.
- She entered politics in the year 1992
- She remained Mandal Pradhan of BJP Mahila Morcha in 1992 to 1994
- She remained the president of the Bhartiya Janata Party, district Kangra from 1995-97
- She was elected to the State Assembly on BJP ticket in 1998 and remained Parliamentary Secretary from 3 November 1998 to March 2003
- She was elected again to the State Assembly in December 2007 and was appointed Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment
- She again won 2012 Assembly election
- Total Assets declared Rs 4.19 crore
Ram Lal Markanda
- Dr. Ram Lal Markanda was born on 17 October 1966.
- He remained active in State NSUI during 1989-93
- He remained General Secretary H.P. Youth Congress,
- He remained President Himachal Vikas Congress, District Lahaul & Spiti
- He remained Minister of State for Rural Development and Panchayati Raj (Independent charge)
- He remained Minister for State for Animal Husbandry (Independent Charge) and attached with the IPH and Minister for IPH
- He was given additional charge of PWD (attached with the CM) in 2001 and resigned from the Council of Ministers on 3.2.2003.
- Total Assets declared Rs 87 lakh
Vipin Singh Parmar
- Vipin Parmar was born on 15 March 1964.
- He was active worker of Rashtriya Sevak Sangh (RSS)
- He remained organizing secretary State Akhil Vidyarthi Parishad
- He remained the Secretary of All India Akhil Vidyarthi Parishad
- Elected to State Legislative Assembly in 1998
- He was re-elected in December 2007
- Total Assets declared Rs 1.44 crore
- Virender Kanwar was born on 29 January 1964.
- He is BA, LL.B. and Diploma in Pharmacy.
- He remained a member of RSS since childhood
- He remained convener of ABVP, district Hamirpur between 1981-85
- He remained General Secretary and President of BJYM, district Una from 1992-95 and 1995-2000 respectively
- He remained Member of the State Bhartiya Janata Party, Executive during 2003-06
- He was elected to the State Legislative Assembly in 2003.
- He was re-elected in December 2007
- Total Assets declared 3.38 crore
- He is the Son of Kishan Chand, and was born on 28 August 1964 at village Jole, Tehsil Jaswan, District. Kangra
- He is a B.Sc., B.Ed
- He was elected to the Legislative Assembly in 2003 from Jaswan Assembly segment which has now been renamed as Jaswan-Pragpur after delimitation.
- He remained Vice Chairman of H.P. Khadi & Gramudyog Board during1999-2003
- He remained the President of the State BJYM in 2000, and Vice President State BJP 2008
- He was re-elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December 2012
- Total Assets declared 74 lakh
Govind Singh Thakur
- He is the Son of Kunj Lal Thakur (Ex. Minister)
- He was born on 3 October 1968 at Village Kanyal, Tehsil Manali, District Kullu
- He is a Graduate
Dr. Rajiv Saizal
- Dr Rajiv Saizal was born on 11 July 1971.
- He is a BAMS.
- He remained the General Secretary of Doctors Cell, BJP, district Solan
- He was first elected to the State Legislative Assembly in December in 2007
- He was re-elected in 2012
- Total Assets declared 77 lakh
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.