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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

Campus Watch

HPBOSE +2 Exam Results Declared, Private Schools Grab Top Positions in All Streams

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HPBose results 2019

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh School Education Board, Dharamshala, on April 22, 2019, has declared the class 12th result, examination for which was held between 6 to March 29, 2019.

As per the Board, out of total 95,492 students appeared in +2 for science, commerce and arts streams, 58949 students passed the exam and 16102 were placed under compartment. The overall result dropped to 62.1 % from 70.18% in 2018 and 72.89% in 2017. Total 49, 136 male students appeared in the exam and 28,375 passed it.  Among total 45,784 female candidates, 30, 574 cleared the exam.

Students of private schools have grabbed the top positions in all the streams. However, the number of students of government schools is reported to be higher than private schools in the merit list.

In Arts, Ashmita Sharma (DAV School Una) became the topper by obtaining 482/500 (96.4%) marks.  In Science, Anil Kumar (Sai Star School Dhalpur, Kullu) secured the first position by obtaining 493/500 (98.6%) marks. In Commerce, Preeti Birsanta (Career Academy School, Nahan) topped with 494/500 (98.8%) marks.

Candidates can visit the HPBOSE official website to check their results. However,  with the declaration of the results, the official website of the HPBOSE has become non-responsive due to high traffic.

Students can also check the result via SMS. One can send a message to 56263 — HP12 <space> roll number to access the result via text message. In addition, the results are also available HPBOSE’s partner websites like examresults.net and indiaresults.com

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Misc News/Press Release

Kotkhai Custodial Death: After Zaidi, Ex-SP Shimla DW Negi Gets Bail Too

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dw-negi-granted bail in custodial death

Shimla-Ex-Superintendent of Police, Shimla, DW Negi, who is an accused in the custodial death in Kotkhai’s Gudiya case, is also out on bail after Ex IG Zahur H Zaidi. Zaidi was granted bail by the Supreme Court of India on April 5, 2019. He had pleaded to the court that over 19 months have passed since the filling of charge-sheet but nothing was proved in the trial so far.

On April 18, Justice Sureshwar Thakur of Himachal Pradesh High Court, granted bail to DW Negi on the same pretext. He appealed to the court that CBI has recovered nothing from him in relation to the case. Now, the chances are high that remaining seven accused police officials would also get bail using the same argument.

The conditions of his bail included furnishing personal bond in the sum of Rs 3 lakhs and two local sureties. He would have to deposit his passport with the CBI. He will have to co-operate in investigation whenever the agency requires him.

A three-member team of CBI had arrested Negi on November 16, 2016, and was in jail since then. Before Negi, CBI had arrested ex-IG Zaidi and seven others on August 29, 2016.  All seven accused police officials were booked in relation to alleged conspiracy and custodial death of a Nepalese labourer Suraj.

Suraj was among the six initial accused arrested by Zaidi-led Special Investigation Team that was formed to probe alleged gang-rape and gruesome murder of a 16-year-old school going girl in July 2016. Later, when the case was transferred to CBI, the agency found that these six accused were innocent and were framed under a police conspiracy.


CBI had filed a chargesheet against the SIT members, I.G. Zahur H. Zaidi, D.S.P Theog Manoj Joshi, the then SHO Kotkhai Rajender Singh, ASI Deep Chand Sharma, Head Constables Surat Singh, Mohan Lal and Rafiq Ali and constable Ranjit Singh was filed in the special CBI court in November 2017.

The accused were charged under Section 302, 330, 331, 348, 323, 326, 218, 195, 196, 201 and 120 B. The chargsheet contains 600 pages including annexes and statements of about 50 eyewitnesses.

While granting Zaidi a bail, the Apex Court had stated in its order that;

  …Our attention has been drawn to the allegations against the accused-appellant and that he is in custody for the last 19 months. Though the accused-appellant is facing charge under Section 302, we are told that the trial has not made substantial progress beyond the framing of the charge. Completion of trial will take some time…

…the period of custody suffered and likely time that may be taken for completion of trial, we are of the view that the accused appellant should be released on bail in connection with FIR No.RC SI 2017 S0009 CBI/SC-I/New Delhi, on satisfaction of the appropriate condition(s) as may be imposed by the learned trial court…

The CBI had also pleaded in the court to shift the hearing of the case from H.P High Court to Delhi High Court for expeditious disposal. The Court did not adhere to this request and observed that the same would be considered after hearing all the accused.

Further CBI had also raised doubts that if the police officer was granted bail, he could influence and intimidate witnesses in the case as he was a high-rank police official. To this, the court observed that this cannot be a reason to deny bail at this juncture, and if such incidence comes to light then it is always open for CBI to apply for cancellation of Bail in the competent court.

The reason of delay in trial with a remark that nothing substantial had been done in the case after framing of charge had come to a major blow to the CBI.

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India’s Rank in World Press Freedom Index Drops to 140 in 2019, Report Points Out Hindutva and Nationalism Agendas

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India in world press freedom index 2019 report 2

The 2019 World Press Freedom Index compiled by Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has been released today. As a matter of huge concern in the list of 180 countries surveyed, India has dropped down to 140th position from last year’s 138.  Norway was ranked at number one.

India has been placed close to Pakistan at 142, and Bangladesh at 150.

The overall findings showed hatred of journalists has degenerated into violence, contributing to an increase in fear. The number of countries regarded as safe, where journalists can work in complete security, continues to decline, while authoritarian regimes continue to tighten their grip on the media

As per the Index, threats, insults and attacks are now part of the “occupational hazards” for journalists in many countries.

“In India, where critics of Hindu nationalism are branded as “anti-Indian” in online harassment campaigns, six journalists were murdered in 2018,”

the RSF said in its Index.

Violence against journalists – including police violence, attacks by Maoist fighters, and reprisals by criminal groups or corrupt politicians – is one of the most striking characteristics of the current state of press freedom in India, the report said.

As per the RSF report, at least six Indian journalists were killed in connection with their work in 2018. A number of doubts surround a seventh case. These murders highlighted the many dangers Indian journalists face, especially those working for non-English-language media outlets in rural areas.

“Attacks against journalists by supporters of Prime Minister Narendra Modi increased in the run-up to general elections in the spring of 2019. Those who espouse Hindutva, the ideology that gave rise to Hindu nationalism, are trying to purge all manifestations of “anti-national” thought from the national debate,”

the report said.

“The coordinated hate campaigns waged on social networks against journalists who dare to speak or write about subjects that aggravate Hindutva followers are alarming and include calls for the journalists concerned to be murdered. The campaigns are particularly virulent when the targets are women,”

the report noted.

Further, the RSF report said that the emergence of a #MeToo movement in the media in 2018 has lifted the veil on many cases of harassment and sexual assault to which women reporters have been subjected. It also said that criminal prosecutions are meanwhile often used to gag journalists critical of the authorities, with some prosecutors invoking Section 124a of the penal code, under which “sedition” is punishable by life imprisonment.

 The mere threat of such a prosecution encourages self-censorship.

Coverage of regions that the authorities regard as sensitive, such as Kashmir, continues to be very difficult. Foreign reporters are barred from Kashmir and the Internet is often disconnected there,

RSF report said.

It also suggested that when not detained, Kashmiri journalists working for local media outlets are often the targets of violence.

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