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Read list of HP Budget 2018-19 highlights



list of HP Budget 2018-19 highlights

Shimla: The Chief Minister  Jai Ram Thakur, who also holds the finance ministry, today presented the Himachal Pradesh Budget for the 2018-19 session. The State Government has formulated an Annual Plan for 2018-19 with a size of ` 6,300 crore which is an enhancement of ` 600 crores over the Annual Plan size of ` 5,700 crores for 2017-18, said the Chief Minister. 

The Chief Minister said that when the earlier BJP Government came into power on December 31, 2007, the State had a loan of  19,977 crores, which increased to 27,598 crores when it left the office in December 2012.

However, the loan burden increased to 46,385 crores as on December 18, 2017. Thus, during 2008 to 2012 additional loan of only 7,621 crores was taken, whereas, during 2013 to 2017, an additional loan of 18,787 crores was taken which is 246 percent hike on additional loan taken during previous five years, said the Chief Minister.

Due to these loans, the State is having an annual interest burden of ` 3,500 crore, he said.

The growth rate of Himachal was 8.1 percent in 2015- 16, which reduced to 6.9 percent in 2016-17. In current year i.e. 2017-18 the growth rate is expected to be 6.3 percent, he informed.  

During these three years, the growth rate of Himachal Pradesh State Economy is lower than the national growth rate. As per the advance estimates for 2017-18, the Gross Domestic Product of Himachal Pradesh has been estimated at 1, 35,914 crores and the per capita income of the State is estimated to be 1, 58,462 crores, he said.

The emphasis was laid on the agriculture by hiking several subsidies. 

To read the detailed speech and budget, please scroll down to the bottom

Budget Highlights 2018-19

  • Adoption of BJP ‘Drishtipatra’ as the policy document to guide the development policies of the present Government
  • Lowering the age from 80 years to 70 years for providing old age pension to all, without any income limit
  • Gudia & Hoshiar Singh helplines and ‘Shakti App’ launched
  • New Mukhyamantri “Lok Bhawan (मुख्यमन्त्री लोक भवन)” Scheme launched for constructing Community Bhawan with an outlay of Rs. 30 lakh in every constituency
  • A grant under “Vidhayak Khsetra Vikaas Nidhi Yojana” raised to Rs. 1.25 crore.
  • Discretionary grant raised to Rs. 7 lakh
  • Public Works and IPH will roll out Works Management Information System.
  • The new e-stamping system will be launched
  • All the tenders above 5 lakh will be carried out online using e-Procurement portal
  • A budget provision of Rs. 220 crore under state food subsidy scheme.
  • New “Himachal Grihini Suvidha Yojana (हिमाचल गृहिणी सुविधा योजना)” will be launched for women empowerment and environmental conservation
  • Under the World Bank-funded Horticulture Development Project of Rs. 1,134 crore, nearly Rs. 100 crore to be spent in 2018-19
  • 500 crore to be spent for Command Area Development in five years. A budget provision of Rs. 130 crore in 2018-19
  • 277 crore for Minor Irrigation Schemes
  • 85 crore for Medium Irrigation schemes
  • New Scheme, “Jal Se Krishi Bal (जल से कृषि को बल” with a budget of Rs. 250 crore for five years launched
  • New “Flow Irrigation Scheme” with an outlay of 150 crores for next five years launched
  • New scheme “Solar Irrigation Scheme” launched with a budget outlay of 200 crore for next five years
  • Electricity to farmers for irrigation purpose to be provided at 75 paise per unit in place of existing 1 per unit
  • Levy of Certain Goods Carried by Roads(CGCR) on apple, other fruits and vegetables withdrew from 2018-19
  • New scheme “Prakritik Kheti Khushhal Kisan” with an allocation of  25 crores will be launched
  • Investment subsidy of 50 percent for bio-pesticides
  • Subsidy of 40 percent on machinery for setting up of “Agriculture Equipment Hiring Centres”
  • 32 crore for a subsidy to farmers/horticulturists on power weeders and power tillers etc.
  • Budget provision for anti-hail nets increased from Rs.2.27 crore to 10 crores.
  • 60 percent subsidy under new “Baagwani Surksha Yojana (बागवानी सुरक्षा योजना )” for anti hail-guns with a budget of  10 crores
  • Subsidy of 85 percent for installing solar fencing by three or more farmers with a budget provision of Rs. 35 crore under “Mukhya Mantri Khet Sanrakshan Yojna”
  • 1,000 crore phase-II project under JICA to cover all the Districts for crop diversification
  • The new scheme, “Himachal Pushp Utpadan Yojna” with an allocation of 10 crores launched
  • 29 crore for “Pradhan Mantri Faisal Bima Yojna” and for “Weather Based Insurance Scheme”
  • 150 crores proposed for upgrading and opening of new Mandis under World Bank project
  • Freight subsidy of Rs. 1 per litre to dairy cooperatives to compensate for collection and distribution of milk
  • Enhancement of milk procurement price by Rs. 1 per litre
  • 10 and 20 percent Additional subsidy under ‘Dairy Udhyami Vikas Yojna’
  • 50 percent subsidy to the BPL farmers of general category for rearing Desi cows.
  • New “Mukhyamantri Badhu Vikas Yojana (मुख्यमन्त्री मधु विकास योजना)” launched with a budget of 10 crores for providing  80 percent subsidy
  • Exemption on stamp duty and investment subsidy of 50 percent on plant and machinery for establishing of fish feed unit
  • Setting up of Gau-Sewa Aayog announced
  • Amendment in H.P. Religious Endowments and Temple Trust Act to ear mark at least 15 percent of offerings in the temples towards construction, maintenance and running of Gau-Sadans announced
  • Gau Vansh Vikas cess on every bottle of liquor sold in the State collecting Rs. 8 crores per annum
  • Government land on token lease of Rs. 1 for setting up of Gau-Sadans
  • Award of 10 lakh to Panchayat free of abandoned cattle
  • Houses destroyed due to natural calamities to be provided funds under “Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojna” for reconstruction
  • 33 percent subsidy on pick-up van to encourage waste collectors in rural areas
  • Gram Gaurav Patt in every panchayat
  • of days for providing employment under MGNREGA increase from 100 to 120 in view of drought for 2018-19
  • “Moksha Dhaam” in each panchayat will be constructed in a phased manner.
  • 45 crore for members of Zila Parishads and Panchayat Samities for undertaking development activities in their areas
  • 194 crore to the PRIs as per the recommendations of 5th State Finance Commission
  • Honorarium of representatives of PRIs and ULBs enhanced.
  • New scheme “Van Samridhi Jan Samridhi” will be launched to provide a livelihood
  • 125 crore for Forest Department under externally aided projects.
  • New scheme “Samudayik Van Samvardhan Yojna” will be launched.
  • New scheme “Vidyarthi Van Mitra” launched
  • New युवा विज्ञान पुरस्कारscheme to encourage young students towards science launched
  • New, “Shresth Shahar Yojna” launched
  • “National Generic Document Registration System” for online registration of documents for anywhere registration proposed
  • Hand pumps to individual beneficiaries at 75 percent cost
  • 500 crore to IPH for meeting energy charges for water supply and irrigation schemes
  • Simplification of various procedures for increasing investments
  • ”Him Pragti” online monitoring system to monitor investment and infrastructure progress to be started
  • The policy of partial reimbursement of net SGST paid to be formulated.
  • Bidding of a cement plant at Broh Shind in Chamba District and   Nohradhar in Sirmour District
  • A budget provision of 35 crore for BBND.
  • 4 crores for widening of road between Barotiwala-Mandhala-Parwanoo and Barotiwala-Gunnai- Parwanoo
  • Electricity Duty reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent on Small industries and 10 percent to 7 percent on medium industries
  • Lease of land for industrial plots to be given for 90 years instead of 30 years at present
  • No electricity duty on new small and medium industries for first five years.
  • Necessary changes in the Hydro Power Policy to be carried out
  • Equity contribution of 50  crore to HPSEBL for improving the voltage in rural areas
  • 475 crore for subsidizing electricity to the domestic and Agriculture consumers.
  • New scheme “Nai Rahain, Nai Manjile (नई राहें, नई मंजिलें)” announced for development of virgin destinations with a budget provision of 50 crore
  • Proposal for development of basic infrastructure for the second phase under ADB project to Government of India
  • Heli taxi services to be started and more helipads to be constructed.
  • A project of Rs. 100 crore for infrastructure development at the religious circuit to be submitted to Government of India under “Swadesh Darshan” scheme.
  • Religious and adventure tourism to be promoted in a big way
  • Pong, Kol and Bhakra reservoirs to be developed for water sports and adventure tourism
  • Water Sports, beautification of the area, construction of ghats and reviving of sulphur springs at Tattapani
  • Efforts will be made to install ropeway from Sri Anandpur Sahib to Sri Naini Deviji in partnership with Punjab Government
  • Exploration of possibilities of installation of ropeways from Dharmkot to Triund, Janjehli to Shikari Mata and other tourist places
  • Develop a training module for people connected with tourism activities.
  • New “Mukhya Mantri Swavlamban Yojna” to encourage local entrepreneurship with an outlay of ` 80 crores
  • New ‘Mukhya Mantri Yuva Ajivika Yojna” for providing self-employment to Himachali youth in the age group of 18-35 years in trade and services launched with an outlay of  75 crore
  • Entrepreneurship development programmes to be organized to stimulate entrepreneurship among youth
  • “Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gramin Kaushalya Yojna” will be implemented with an outlay of  77 crore
  • 100 crore for Skill Development Allowance
  • 300 crore as grant and equity to HRTC
  • Installation of electronic display boards at all the bus stands and selected bus stops to display bus timings
  • An additional outlay of Rs. 20 crores for construction of Bus Stands and toilets blocks
  • Mechanism of third party inspection and Independent Quality Check Squad under Chief Minister Office for ensuring the quality of Government construction
  • The target of tarring of 2,500 Kilometers of road length. Additional Rs. 100 crore in 2018-19 for maintenance of roads
  • A new “Himachal Road Improvement Scheme” started with an outlay of Rs. 50 crore for cross drainage
  • Invitation of international bidding for keeping the Sachh Pass, Jalori Pass, Khada Pathar and Rohtang Pass open during winters
  • 50 crore for improving the road alignment, signboards, parapets etc. at the identified black spots
  • 50 crore for Mukhya Mantri Sadak yojna
  • “The Himachal Pradesh Settlement of Pending Assessment Cases Bill”, 2018 to be laid for the benefit of the dealers.
  • Setting up of a robust and transparent transfer and posting mechanism for the teachers.
  • New “Mukhyamantri Adarsh Vidya Kendra (मुख्यमन्त्री आदर्श विद्या केन्द्र)”Scheme will be launched with an allocation of Rs. 25 crore for under which 10 residential schools will be constructed
  • School bags to be provided to the students of 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th class under ‘Atal Vardi Yojna’.
  • Atal Tinkering Labs will be set up in selected schools
  • A new programme “Akhand Shiksha Jyoti, Mere School se Nikle Moti” to be launched
  • New “Medha Protsahan Yojna (मेधा प्रोत्साहन योजना)” to be launched for preparing students for competitive exams
  • Grant-in-aid of Rs. 110 crore to Himachal Pradesh University
  • Vanishing Manuscripts and rare books to be digitized
  • New Scheme “Aaj Puarni Rahon Se (आज पुरानी राहों से)
  • 25 crores for construction of the indoor auditorium
  • Daily allowance to Poets/Writers/Litterateur increased by 50 percent
  • New scheme “Dev Bhoomi Darshan (देव भूमि दर्शन)” to provide transport facility for senior citizens for pilgrimage within the State
  • 15 crores for construction of multipurpose indoor complexes
  • 6.80 crore under “Mukhya Mantri Khel Vikas Yojana (मुख्यमन्त्री खेल विकास योजना)”
  • Medical emergency assistance increased from existing Rs. 50 thousand to Rs. 2.5 lakh under the “Himachal Pradesh Patrakar Kalyan Yojna”. Withdrawal of present annual income limit announced
  • New “Swasthya Main Sahbhagita Yojana (स्वास्थ्य में सहभागिता योजना)”to encourage establishment the of the private allopathic hospital in rural areas launched.
  • New “Mukhyamantri Nirog Yojana (मुख्यमन्त्री निरोग योजना)” launched for basic health checkup
  • Increase in a number of drugs under the free drug policy in all health institutions
  • 100 percent immunization target for prevention of Measles and Rubella.
  • Baby kit worth Rs. 1,500 will be provided to all newborn under new “Mukhya Mantri Aashirwad Scheme”
  • Kidney transplant facility will be created in the IGMC
  • New “Mukhyamantri Chikitsa Sahayata Kosh (मुख्यमन्त्री चिकित्सा सहायता कोष)” for assistance to needy poor people of the State having serious ailments constituted.
  • Assistance under “Mother Teressa Matri Ashray Sambal Yojna” raised to Rs. 5,000 per annum
  • Assistance to BPL families under “Beti Hai Anmol Yojna” enhanced to 12,000.
  • New comprehensive “Sashakt Mahila Yojna (सशक्त महिला योजना)” announced
  • Critical care package under “ Swasthya Bima Yojna” enhanced from Rs. 1,75,000 to Rs. 2,50,000 for families having one or two girl child. Additional assistance of Rs. 75,000 will be payable to the girls for their medical care
  • Social Security pension enhanced to Rs. 750 per month. Pension to persons having 70 percent and above disabilities and persons aged 70 years and above enhanced to Rs. 1,300 per month. A budget provision of Rs. 600 crore for Social Security Pension Schemes
  • Establishment of three new women police stations in Solan, Hamirpur and Chamba Districts proposed
  • An additional Interim Relief of 4 percent on basic pay/ basic pension to regular State Government Employees/ Pensioners from 1st July
  • Contact employees to get emoluments equal to basic pay plus double of the grade pay
  • Daily wages increased to Rs. 225 per day
  • An honorarium of part-time Water Carriers, Mid-day-Meal Workers, SMC Teachers, ASHA Workers, Anganwari Workers/Helpers and Water Guards enhanced
  • 65 crore for construction of new residences and Rs. 25 crores for repair of Government residences
  • All functional posts in the Departments will be filled up
  • A budget provision of Rs. 41,440 crore for 2018-19

Copy of Speech and Detailed Budget for 2018-19

Misc News/Press Release

DC Kangra confirms abduction of 3 Himachalis in Nigeria, CM seeks Centre Govt’s help



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: The Deputy Commissioner of Kangra today confirmed that Nigerian sea pirates have held three men hailing from Kangra hostages for ransom.

The state government said it has taken up the matter with the Government of India and requested the safe release of all three hostages.

The step came after the news appeared in regional media.

The State government claimed that in a communiqué to the Western Africa Division, Ministry of External Affairs, the state government said the three youths namely Sushil Kumar, Pankaj Kumar and Ajay Kumar, who belong to Kangra district of Himachal Pradesh have been kidnapped by the Nigerian pirates as per the confirmed report.

Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur has sought the intervention of Union government to ensure the safe release of three hostages.He hoped the union government will act fast and get the hostages released safely.

You can read the entire matter here in HW’s previous article.

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Misc News/Press Release

Govt silent over safety of 3 Himachali youth allegedly held hostages by Nigerian pirates for ransom



Himachali held hostages in nigeria

Shimla: Three youths hailing from Himachal Pradesh’s Kangra district, who were serving in Merchant Navy, have reportedly ended in the hands of armed Nigerian sea pirates as hostages. The armed pirates hijacked their ship and demanded a ransom of 11 million nairas (20-22 Lakh INR) from the parents of one of the hostages.

The details are scanty as no official confirmation has been made by the State or Centre Government. It is not clear when they were abducted. 

The news broke out when Raghubir Singh (62) of Nagrota, father of one of the hostages, reached media yesterday.  

As per the information given by Raghubir, the other two men included Pankaj Kumar of Samloti and Ajay Kumar of Palampur.

The three men were currently working for a private shipping company named Max Marine Services in Cortnou Benin.

On March 12, the parents of one of the abducted youth, Susheel Sharma (37), who was the captain on the ship, received a call through a satellite phone. Susheel told the parents that he along with two others had been held hostage in some jungle. He told the parents about the pirate’s demand for ransom in exchange for their release.

On March 21, Himachal had received a shock after the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj confirmed, while speaking in the Parliament, the killing of 39 Indians in Iraq including four men from Himachal. Three of them hailed from Kangra while remaining one belonged to Mandi district.

Now, this fresh case of abduction has again jolted Kangra.

Surprisingly, as alleged by the parents, the Centre or State Government have not given any reaction to the situation.   

The district administration also said it was not aware of the situation.

The parents also alleged the shipping company of keeping them in dark whenever they contacted it to know whereabouts of their son. The owner of the ship told the parents that a negotiation was ongoing with the pirates.

However, recently, the owner stopped picking up phone calls from the aggrieved parents.  

Ultimately, the family on March 18 approached the External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and the Prime Minister, Modi,  through a mail with their plea to intervene and rescue their son.

However, the parents allege that they did not receive any satisfactory response from anyone. 

As per the statement of the parents, Sudhir had told them that they are getting only one meal per day. The pirates will starve them to death if the ransom is not paid, Sudhir had told the parents.

Now, the parents do not trust the company anymore and have put their hope on the Government.   


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Misc News/Press Release

Man killed as stone rolls down hill, breaks through moving HRTC bus window in Kullu



Bizzare Bus Accident in Himachal's Kullu

Kullu: A big round stone rolled down a hill and broke through the window of a moving Himachal Pradesh Road Corporation (HRTC) bus that was heading towards Kullu from Rampur today. The accident occurred near Luhri in Kullu.  A co-passenger who was sitting beside the deceased also came in spate and received injuries.

However, the deceased, who was identified as Manohar Singh (60) of Tippal village in Anni, died on the spot.  The injured was identified as Vijay Kumar of Kumarsain. He was taken to hospital in Rampur. 

The death came from nowhere and picked up its prey within a fraction of a second, said the eyewitnesses. The stone hit Manohar right on his head, which was badly crushed.  

Other passengers were horrified by the bizarre and sudden manner the stone broke through the window like a bullet.  

A police team from Luhri rushed to the spot and took custody of the dead body.  The elected MLA Kishori Lal Sagar also arrived at the spot on hearing the tragic news. The body was later handed over to the family after the postmortem.

The district administration provided Rs. 20, 000 to the victim’s family as immediate relief. The HRTC also announced Rs. 10,000 as relief money.  

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