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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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Be Careful About Fake News/Misinformation on Social Media: Education Minister

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HP Education minister Suresh Bhardwaj

Shimla-Education Minister Suresh Bhardwaj, while addressing youth at the 10th Bhartiya Chatra Sansad in New Delhi said, social media has many benefits like connectivity, easy access but there is a need to exercise caution while using this tool.

Sometimes social media spreads misinformation and fake news, we should be careful about what information we are consuming. We should learn to understand the difference between real and virtual life, he added.

The Education Minister also said that the youth should use their own identity and uniqueness and not rely too much on social media while making decisions.

The basic objective of education is to become a good citizen and to become successful in our professional and personal lives, he said.

The Education Minister was delivering a lecture on ‘Learn before you lean: Following social media and celebrities’ at the second session of the event which is being organised from 20th to 23rd February at Vigyan Bhavan New Delhi by Rahul Karad, Founder and Convenor of Bhartiya Chatra Sansad (BCS).

However, the degrading quality of education in the State’s government schools hardly suggests that the education minister is actually committed to create good citizens.

The massive fee hikes by Himachal Pradesh University are making education inaccessible. Private schools are prospering owing to poor quality of education in government schools. Parents are left with no choice but to pay hefty fees to private schools to ensure that their children get a better academic environment and basic facilities. At the same time, the ruling government in Delhi has proved that the academic environment and infrastructure of government schools can be changed for good easily.

Impressed with reforms in education in Delhi, during the United States President Donald Trump’s maiden visit to India next week, First lady Melania Trump is likely to visit a Delhi government school in South Delhi. As a part of various innovative steps to improve the education system, the Delhi government has introduced happiness curriculum. This curriculum was introduced for the students from Nursery to Class 8. Even some private schools later adopted it. Delhi government would be briefing Melania about the “happiness curriculum.”

Though politicians in India hardly follow what they preach, it is indeed the need of the hour that we filter what is being served on media and social media before believing it and making decisions based on it.

After witnessing unethical use of social media by political parties, during 2014 and 2019 General Elections, and lately in the recently concluded Delhi Assembly elections, for hate speeches, propaganda and spreading misinformation to manipulate voters, going completely against the ethics of politics, it is sarcastic to hear a politician asking people to beware of fake news and misinformation spread through social media. Not only politicians but mainstream media has also turned itself into a paid circus.

On some channels, journalists have even assumed the roles of judges instead of simply reporting facts. Together with paid media and social media, India’s politicians and religious organizations are experimenting with a divisive and communally polarizing politics. During the recent Delhi elections, journalists and politicians even turned themselves into jokers without caring about ethics and  their responsibility towards the nation.

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Fresh Spell of Snow in Himachal’s Higher Hills, Mercury Drops, Traffic Movement Hit

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Snowfall-in-Shimla-in-February-2020-m2

Shimla– As predicted by Himachal Pradesh Meteorological Department, after a short sunny and warm spell, the weather conditions have taken a turn in the state, which has led to a sharp drop in temperatures. On the night of February 20th,  Shimla’s upper regions and higher hills of Kullu, Lahaul-Spiti, Chamba, Kinnaur received a fresh spell of snow.

In fact, the Met Department had issued a yellow warning for February 21st.

Snowfall-in-shimla-feb-2020

Shimla city, Jakhu hills and Sanjauli witnessed a short and very light spell of snow on early Friday morning. While the snow did not affect traffic movement in urban Shimla, the Kufri-Narkanda road was closed for traffic as the region received comparatively more snow. Other than these places, Narkanda, Khidaki, Kharapathar were also closed for traffic due to snow.

Snowfall-shimla-2020

 The traffic movement towards Rohru, Chaupal, Theog, and Nerwa was also hit. Vehicles on their way towards Shimla from Rampur were being diverted via Basantpur. According to Shimla Police, roads to Khidaki, Kharapathar, Narkanda and Kufri were opened for small vehicles by Friday evening. However, police has advised people to avoid driving on these roads till Saturday morning as the roads are still slippery. Further, district police has asked people to contact on 112 or 1077 in case they get stuck and require assistance. 

Jalori pass was also closed and some buses were said have been stuck. Traffic movement on National Highway 305 was also affected.

The lower hills or plains witnessed rain with gusty winds. In some regions, the wheat crop was destroyed by gusty winds.

Weather-Prediciton-Himachal-PRadesh-2020

The Met Department has predicted rain/snow in middle and higher hills till February 25th. For plains, the weather is likely to be dry from February 22th onward.

 

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Video: Villagers Carry Pregnant Lady on Shoulders for 18 kms to Reach Hospital in Absence of Ambulance Road

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Kullu-The Himachal Pradesh Government on February 17, 2020, while announcing annual plan budget for session 2020-21, claimed that it has registered “remarkable growth” in health, education, horticulture and social services sectors.

However, the question over government’s claims arises after watching videos where people in Himachal’s rural area still don’t have access to even basic health facilities due to lack of ambulance roads. Residents carry patients on their shoulders in palanquins for several kilometers to reach the nearest road. Videos and reports of such cases regularly appear in regional pages of Hindi dailies, indicating hollowness of government claims of development.  

A video showing the plight of villagers in Sainj area of the district Kullu has been posted by locals where some local men and women are carrying a female on a makeshift palanquin on a tough acceding trail.

On Sunday morning, Sunita, experienced labour pain. The family asked other villagers for help. They prepared a make-shift palanquin by tying a chair to two logs.

When asked about the situation, the women said they are carrying a pregnant woman, Sunita, to hospital because the nearest motorable road is 18-20 kilometres far from their village Shaakati in Garapaarali (गाड़ापारली) panchayat. Two other villages in the same panchayat – Maraur and Shugad-also faces the same problem when they need to access health services.

The women said it took them over eight hours to carry the pregnant lady upto the road from where they arranged motorable transport to reach Banjar hospital.

Furious over the government and politicians, local women can be heard alleging that government of its indifference to their grievances and lack of facilities.

“Government will trace and find us anywhere when it is about seeking votes but no one comes back to attend us. Whenever villagers get sick, we carry them on shoulders to access health services,”

an elderly woman said while describing the plight of villagers.

In another clip, a woman carrying the palanquin can be seen complaining about the lack of an ambulance road.

“We need an ambulance road. That’s our demand,”

she said while gasping due to exhaustion.

As per another media report, the panchayat Pradhan, Bhaag Chand and other members of the panchayat also confirmed facing a huge inconvenience due to lack of a motorable road. They said governments kept changing but their panchayat did not get a road.  

Not just medical facilities, but villagers also complained that even most basic facilities are still out of their reach due to apathy of the government.

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