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Read list of HP Budget 2018-19 highlights

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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

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Kinnaur Landslide: 14 Bodies Recovered in 30 Hours, Several Still Missing

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Kinnaur landslide rescue operation photos

Kinnaur: Landslide in Kinnaur district is unfolding as one of the biggest catastrophe in Himachal Pradesh as the of fatality count continues to rise. After 30 hours of the rescue operation, which was hampered multiple times due to shooting stones at the site, 14 dead bodies had been recovered till the suspension of the operation on Thursday evening. While 10 bodies were recovered on Wednesday, four more were exhumed from the rubble on Thursday.

As many as 15 persons were rescued and taken to Bhavanagar CHC for treatment.

The wreckage of the HP Road Transport Corporation bus was found scattered about 500 meters below the National Highway-5 in Nigulsari – the site of the massive landslide. The condition of the wreckage suggested there was little hope of survival of any passenger. The distraught relatives of the missing persons remained at the site, grieving with diminishing hope to see their family members alive as the rescue operation for today was suspended.

Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

HRTC Bus Wreckage

The state of exhumed bodies added to the horror of the families, as well as, the rescuers. Some of the bodies were in such a state that their identification was next to impossible. While some bodies had their limbs cut off, one of them was found without the head.

As the rescue operation would be entering its third day on Friday, the death toll is likely to rise as the driver of the bus, who had survived the accident and was seriously injured, had estimated that 25-30 passengers were onboard when the landslide pushed it down the NH.

Further, there is still no sign of one vehicle (Bolero SUV), informed Director, State Disaster Management, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta. The exact number of people feared to be buried under the rubble was yet to be ascertained. According to the district administration, based on calls received from families, the number of missing people could be anywhere between 30-50.

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

Meanwhile, some family members of the missing persons complained that while the rescue operation was initiated immediately from the Negulsari side, JCB machines took over five hours to reach the spot from the Chauri side. They complained that such a big delay was crucial and could have saved more lives.

It’s pertinent to mention that the HRTC bus had remained untraceable on Wednesday and the wreckage was found on the second day of the rescue operation. However, most passengers were yet to be traced.  

According to the Deputy Commandant, ITBP, Dharmender Thakur, shooting stones and sliding rubble posed a huge challenge for the rescue teams, which comprised of hundreds of personnel of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, local police, and CISF. Undertaking this operation on a steep slope further created difficult circumstances for the teams. The lives of the rescuers were also at risk as the site remained vulnerable to reactivation of landslide.

This landslide in the Kinnaur district has become a matter of debate for geologists, environmentalists, seismologists and climatologists. Unscientific cutting of fragile mountains and blasting for the widening of roads and construction of tunnels for hydropower projects, changing patterns of rains, and seismic activity are being referred to be the reasons behind the increased incidents of landslides, especially in Kinnaur district.

At the same time, the inability of the state government to consider technical suggestions given by geological experts from time to time for mitigation of such hazards is also finding mention in the critical comments given by experts. The lackadaisical attitude of the government in the adoption of technologies, such as the early warning system developed by the IIT Mandi for mountainous regions vulnerable to landslides, is also attracting criticism.

It’s pertinent to mention that after the Kotrupi disaster – a massive landslide that had buried two buses and claimed 48 lives in August 2017-experts from IIT Mandi had carried out surveys and studies and provided several suggestions for minimizing damages, which fell into deaf ears.  

The deceased were identified as:

  1. Rohit Kumar
  2. Vanshuka
  3. Meera Devi
  4. Nitisha
  5. Prem Kumar
  6. Gyan Dassi
  7. Devi Chand
  8. Kumari Radhika
  9. Bhupender
  10. Kamlesh Kumar
  11. Lakshman Thapa
  12. Vijay Kumar

Two others were yet to be identified. The state government has announced ex-gratia of Rs 4 lakh to the kin of the deceased and Rs 5o thousand to the injured. HRTC has also announced Rs. 1 lakh ex-gratia to the passengers of the bus killed in the mishap. 

Further, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur and several other political leader visited the spot and met the relatives of victims on Thursday. 

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Kinnaur Tragedy: HRTC Bus Wreckage Found, Death Toll Rises to 13 and Likely Rise

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Kinnaur HRTC Bus wreckage

Kinnaur-The rescue operation at the site of the landslide in Nigulsari, Nichar Tehsil of the Kinnaur district, was resumed on Thursday morning. The wreckage of the ill-fated bus of the HP Road Transport Corporation was found 500 meters below the road and about 200 meters above the Sutlej River. The pictures showed that the bus was completely crushed and torn to pieces. 

So far, 13 dead bodies had been recovered and 14 injured including the driver and the conductor of the HRTC bus, which was on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar, were rescued and taken to hospital. The death toll is likely to rise as the passengers were yet to be traced. According to the driver, there were 25-30 passengers in the bus when it was hit by the landslide. A Bolero SUV alongwith passengers was also missing and was yet to be traced.  

Kinnaur rescue operation resumes

The mishap occurred at about 12:30 pm on Wednesday. The rescue operation was suspended at 9 pm due to dark conditions and shooting stones, which made the rescue operation difficult.

Till the suspension of the operation, the rescue teams comprising of NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, Central Industrial Security Force, and local police had traced three cars and a tipper.  

The rescue teams were searching from two directions and were using drones too.   

Kinnaur tragedy drone picture

The landslide had hit about 200 meters patch of the National Highway-5 – about 10 kilometres away from Bhavanagar.

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Kinnaur Tragedy: 10 Bodies Recovered, Still No Trace of HRTC Bus, 50-60 Persons Feared to be Missing

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Kinnaur tragedy drone picture

Kinnaur: The rescue operation at the site of the landslide in Nigulsari, Nichar Tehsil of the Kinnaur district, was suspended at 9 pm on Wednesday due to dark conditions and shooting stones, which made the rescue operation difficult. The rescue operation would be resumed on Thursday morning, according to the information provided by the district administration.

So far, 10 dead bodies, including those of five women and a child, had been recovered and 13 injured were rescued and taken to CHC Bhavnagar. Though the exact number was not known, 50-60 persons were feared to be buried and were yet to be traced.  

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 7

Source: ITBP

The rescue teams comprising of state NDRF, ITBP, Home-Guards, Central Industrial Security Force, and local police had been carrying out the rescue operation aggressively.

The HRTC bus carrying 25-30 passengers and a Bolero SUV were still untraceable. As earth removers removed the rubble, two cars and a truck were traced, but the bus and the SUV weren’t found beneath the rubble. It’s being suspected that rubble and boulders might have pushed the bus and the SUV down the gorge and into the Sutlej River.

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 5

Source: ITBP

The HRTC bus and a utility vehicle (a Bolero) and their passengers have not been found under the debris. They are still untraceable. Both vehicles may have rolled down with the debris,” informed Director, State Disaster Management Force, Sudesh Kumar Mokhta.

The rescue teams were searching from two directions and were using drone too, informed Deputy Commissioner, Kinnaur, Abid Hussain Sadiq.    

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures

Source: ITBP

The landslide had hit about 200 meters patch of the National Highway-5 – about 10 kilometers away from Bhavanagar. The ill-fated bus was reportedly on its way from Reckong Peo to Haridwar in Uttarakhand via Shimla.

Kinnaur tragedy drone picture

Source: ITBP

The survivors included the drivers of the bus, Mahender Pal, who had first informed his higher officials about the landslide, and the conductor, Gulab Singh.

Meanwhile, ex-gratia of Rs 2 lakh was announced for the kin of the deceased and Rs 50 thousand for the injured.

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 3

Source: ITBP

The landslide has again stirred a debate over ecological damages to the fragile Himalayan region due to rampant blasting and tunneling for hydropower projects and cutting of hills for the widening of roads in an unscientific manner. As compared to the previous year, landslides and cloudbursts doubled in 2o21.

Earlier, on July 25, a landslide had claimed nine lives after boulders rolling down a hill hit a tourist vehicle on Sangla-Chitkul NH in the Batseri region in Kinnaur district. 

According to the statement given in the Legislative Assembly, the ongoing monsoon session has claimed 212 lives and caused damages worth over Rs. 500 crores. The death tally would rise as the rescue operation would be resumed tomorrow.

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 2

Source: ITBP

Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 6 Kinnaur rescue operation pictures 4

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