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HP Cabinet Decisions 2018: 200 jobs in Ayurveda, relief for liquor industry, probe against 2 gold refineries approved    

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HP Cabinet decisions feb 2018

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Government held a meeting on February 26, 2018, and took several decisions including an investigation into previous government’s decisions. The meeting was presided over by the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur.

Inquiries ordered by HP Cabinet  

First of all, the Bhartiya Janata Party-led HP Govt scrapped the tax refund scheme for two Gold Refineries in the State along with ordering vigilance probe for apparent criminal conspiracy to defraud the State of legitimate tax dues.

As per the State government, the two refineries owe the State total Rs. 14,10,98,423 as a tax of Gold Refinery Units under H.P. Tax on entry of Goods into Local Area Act, 2010.

 The Cabinet also approved probe into the Incentive scheme for revival of sick industrial units in Himachal.

The third probe will be ordered against approvals accorded for the construction of Circuit House building at Chambaghat and Hospital building at Kandaghat in Solan district.

As per the new government, the previous Congress Government flouted the rules of business and official instructions by starting the work on these projects without the prior approval of Council of Ministers.

HP Govt Jobs 

The Cabinet gave its approval to fill up following posts:

  • 200 posts of ayurvedic medical officers in Ayurveda department on contract basis. Out of these 100 posts will be filled batch-wise, while remaining 100 through direct recruitment.
  • Ex-post-facto approval to fill up 12 posts of Civil Judge (Junior Division) through direct recruitment from Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission
  • Approval to fill up five posts of Lab Technicians
  • 1 post of Superintendent Grade-II,
  • 1 post of Senior Assistant and 1 post of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Rajiv Gandhi Government Ayurvedic Hospital, Paprola
  • 2 posts of horticulture incharge and one post of assistant botanist in Ayurveda department.

HP Cabinet Excise Policy for 2018-119

The Cabinet gave its approval to Excise Policy 2018-19.  The government has decided to introduce the Maximum Retail Price (MRP) system on the sale of liquor (CL-Country Liquor and IMFL- Indian Made Foreign Liquor).

The government claimed the policy aims to balance the aspirations of citizens, consumers, manufacturers, suppliers, bottlers, wholesalers, retailers, and the Government. An emphasis has been given to streamline the supply of liquor from manufacturers to the wholesalers and to the retailers, it said.

As per the government, the policy will help Himachal to earn revenue of approximately Rs. 1552.88 crore for 2018-19, which will add Rs. 271.33 crores over the estimated revenue for the year 2017-18 with overall growth of 21.17 percent.

Other major decisions of excise policy include:

  • Conditions for securing source license have been liberalized
  • Numbers of excise levies have been reduced
  • The conditions for retailers regarding the unlifted Minimum Guaranteed Quota have been relaxed
  • Security amount fixed for the retailers at the time of allotment has been reduced from 18 % to 13 percent
  • Allotment of retail vends by a transparent draw of lots system this year
  • Approved policy for establishment of microbrewery for beer manufacturing in hotels, restaurants independently
  • For the establishment of microbrewery, government will reduce the import fee on ENA (a major raw material) and Beer
  • Rates will also be displayed in all the retail vends
  • INR 1/- will be collected and INR 2/- will be collected on the sale of every bottle of CL/IMFL which will be allocated towards the Ambulance Services Fund and Welfare of Local Bodies respectively
  • Wine producers in the Himachal will be allowed to sell their products directly to the retailers and bars.
  • Various excise levies were reduced substantially and transportation conditions have been relaxed, along with increasing the Import Duty on wines produced out of the State

Further, the Cabinet approved extension of guarantee support of State Government of Rs. 325 crore in favour of H.P. State Cooperative Agriculture and Rural Development Bank Ltd. upto March 31, 2019, to facilitate loans to the farmers.

Misc News/Press Release

Rs 2572 crore for Himachal’s irrigation and drinking water schemes

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HP irrigation and drinking water schemes

Shimla: The State Government today said that it has earmarked an amount of Rs 2572 crore for providing irrigation and drinking water facilities in Himachal Pradesh during the current financial year.

The endeavour, the Government said, was to bring more area under irrigation facility so that farmers could go for crop diversification instead of traditional crops.

The Chief Minister, while addressing a public meeting at Kelodhar in Seraj assembly constituency of Mandi district, provided the information.It is Chief Minister’s first visit to Kelodhar after elections.

Further, it was announced that the Kandha-Bah-Batand road would be strengthened.

Earlier, the Chief Minister performed ‘bhumi pujan’ of Kandha-Bah-Batand road (Phase-II) to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 358.53 lakh.

He laid the foundation stones of IPH Office building and residence at Kelodhar to be constructed at a cost of Rs. 74.36 lakh and of Science Block building of Government Senior Secondary School Kelodhar on which about Rs 1.50 crore would be spent.

The Government announced Rs 15 lakh for Kelodhar Panchayat for various developmental works, Rs 10 lakh each for GP Bara, GP Saroha and GP Parwara. He also announced Rs 3 lakh for Mahila Mandal Kelodhar.

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British-era Bantony Castle Shimla to become Rs. 25 crore cultural centre     

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Bantony Castle Shimla Picture

CM said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style

Shimla: As a ray of hope for the Bantony Castle, Shimla, the Himachal Pradesh Government has announced Rs. 25 crores for the renovation of the British-era structure in order to develop as a tourist attraction.

This was stated by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur while inaugurating the five-day long State level Gram Shilp Mela which was organized by the State Language Art and Culture Department here on May 17, 2018.

Bantony Castle is one of the historic and monumental buildings of Shimla town and has a very rich history. spread over around 20,000 square meter area between Circular Road and Mall Road.

The Chief Minister said the building is also an example of beautiful anglo-gothic architecture. However, this fact appears to be incorrect as the Castle is built in the mock-Tudor style, part chalet and crowned with sloping roofs with mini-towers.

Nevertheless, he further said that since this building was strategically located on the Mall Road thus could be an added attraction for the tourists.

 This complex as a whole would be developed in such a way that it not only becomes a tourist attraction but also a centre of rich cultural diversity of the State.  

The previous Congress Government had, in 2017, announced that it will be turned into a Heritage museum with a restaurant and recreational park.

Artisans from different parts of the State received an opportunity to exhibit their artefacts at the Gram Shipi Mela. The government said it would also organize District level Gram Shilp Melas besides Inter-state Gram Shilp Melas to promote the artefacts of the State.

It was further informed that the State Government has announced a new scheme named ‘Aaj Purani Rahon Se’ for exploring folklores, historic events and cultural tourism in the State. The government has also decided to introduce miniaturized cultural souvenirs of Himachal Pradesh such as musical instruments, Chamba Rumal, Kangra paintings etc.

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Will tar 1100 km roads, construct 600 km new motorable roads, 750 km cross drainage, 35 bridges in 2018: HP Govt

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HP PWD target for 2018

Shimla: During review meeting of Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department held today, the Government informed that it has set up a target of construction of 600 km new motorable roads, providing cross drainage facilities on 750 km road length, metalling and tarring of 1100 km roads, construction of 35 bridges and providing road connectivity to 40 villages during the current financial year.

The Government said all the formalities regarding the allocation of road and bridge projects would be completed within a stipulated period to facilitate work- allocation within 51 days to concerned executing agencies.  

The e-tendering is expected to speed up the process of allocation of projects.

It has been felt that delay in Forest clearances was one of the major bottlenecks for starting of different road and bridge projects. Therefore, the Government would take up the matter with the Union Government to expedite forest clearances for these projects,

said the Chief Minister, who was presiding over the meeting.

It was informed that the target has been fixed to execute 414 works with a total length of 2400 km, under PMGSY with an outlay of Rs 600 crore during the current financial year.

On completion, 150 habitations would be connected with roads. Similarly, the target has been fixed to complete 209 works under Rural Infrastructure Development Fund (RIDF)-NABARD, which include 77 works in Shimla zone, 20 in Mandi Zone, 70 in Kangra zone and 4 in Hamirpur Zone, it was informed.

HPPWD review meeting 2018

During HPPWD review meeting 2018

It was informed that that out of 90 black spots identified in the State, 58 had been rectified and work on remaining black spots was in progress.

The State Government has allocated Rs. 200 crore for maintenance and repair of roads in the State besides Rs. 50 crore additionality for providing drainage facilities on the roads, claimed the Government.

Additional Chief Secretary Manisha Nanda said that 34394 officers and officials were working in the Public Works Department and “were doing their best” to ensure best road connectivity to the people of the State.  

The State today has total 35638 km of roads providing road connectivity to the remotest part of the State, informed the Engineer-in-Chief R.P Verma.

Opposed to the work-culture of the HP PWD, the Chief Minister, who holds Department, is claiming that regular monitoring and inspection of roads and bridges constructed particularly under NABARD, Central Road Fund etc. will be ensured.

 He said that for this, standard quality parameters should be laid down and responsibility of the defaulters must be fixed and strict action taken against the person, which rarely happens.

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