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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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Foundation Stone of Shiv Dham at Mandi Laid, Will Cost Rs. 150 Crore

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Shiv Dham Mandi model

Mandi: Shiv Dham construction at Mandi would cost over Rs. 150 crores to the State. It was informed during the foundation stone laying ceremony of the Shiv Dham Phase-I to be developed at Kangnidhar. The First Phase of this project would be completed at a cost of Rs. 40 crore, the government said.

The Shiv Dham would be developed in an area of 9.5 hectares. Shiv Dham would have replicas of twelve Jyotirlingam, a statue of Lord Shiva and Ganesh, Museum, Food Court, Herbal Garden, Nakshatra Vatika, Amphi-theatre, Orientation Centre, Car Parking etc. 

Further, it was informed that the foundation stone of multi-storey parking was laid near U-Block. An estimated amount of Rs. 100 crore would be spent on Public-Private Partnership mode, the government informed.

There is also a proposal to construct Rs. 27 crore Anaj Mandi (Grain Market) in Mandi, it was informed.

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New Farm Laws Could be Death Knell for States like Himachal, Says 19 Organizations While Expressing Solidarity with Farmers Protest

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Himachal PRadesh supports farmers protest

Shimla-More support is pouring in for farmers protest from Himachal Pradesh. Today, about 19 social organizations, women’s organisations and farmer’s groups issued a joint public statement today in solidarity with the three-month long farmer’s movement in the country.

The statement demands the repeal of the three new farm laws introduced by the central government and calls for strengthening minimum support prices, extending it to crops, especially fruits and vegetables grown for the market in Himachal Pradesh. The statement is critical of the non-democratic manner in which the bills were passed in the parliament in a hurry in the middle of the Covid led lockdown.

Highlighting the issues with each of the laws the organisations condemned the fact that these are designed to benefit the large corporate houses which would ultimately break the back of the farmers.

The Farmers’ Produce Trade and Commerce (Promotion and Facilitation) Act, 2020 has the potential of destroying the government led APMC mandis, the oganizations said.

The second law on contract farming puts the farmers in the dock by not just opening them to risks when getting into contracts with companies but also by closing the door of the courts for redressal for farmers, the statement said.  

Also Read: Supporters in Himachal Displaying Solidarity With Protesting Farmers, Term Delhi Violence a Failed Conspiracy to Discredit Movement

Further the statement said that the third law, the Essential Commodities (Amendment) Act, 2020, as corporates are allowed to buy, store, sell produce minus regulation and accountability of any sort. It also seeks to restrict the powers of the government with respect to production, supply, and distribution of certain key commodities. It is now evident that this will have a direct impact on the storage and distribution of subsidized grains by the government. This can turn out to be a direct threat for food security of the country.

“For a state like Himachal Pradesh where a large section of the population depends heavily on food grains produced by the farmers of the plains and distributed at subsidized rates through the PDS these laws could prove to be a death knell,” the groups said in the statement.  

Even for those who are able to procure from the market, the rising prices of commodities would be a direct hit on their pockets. Apart from the consumers, the farmers of the state will also suffer a setback. The absence of MSPs for fruits and off-season vegetables and lack of APMC markets here have already been a cause of concern for the cash croppers of the state, the statement read.

“In fact fruit and vegetable producer unions have been demanding extension of MSPs and better markets so that apple producers for example are not exploited by ‘middlemen’ and private vendors,” the organizations said.  

In the terai region where there is a surplus of maize produce farmers are forced to sell it at Rs 1000 to 1200 whereas Rs 1850 is the MSP – but the markets are too far for them to access, they said.

The statement has also condemned the manner in which the state and central governments have tried to defame the peaceful protests through various tactics.

“The repression of those coming out in support of the farmer’s movement, be it activists or journalists reporting on the developments is utterly shameful and against the principles of democracy,” the statemen said.  

The groups said that they are also going to send this statement as a submission to the President of India demanding repeal of the three laws.

Housing in makeshift camps, tens of thousands of farmers have been protesting on Delhi boarders for nearly 100 days now. Though the protests had begun last year, the movement has seen a massive growth in recent weeks as it receiving support from environmental activists, opposition parties and even Western celebrities. Now, this farmers movement is spreading to the country’s northern and western farm belts.

The group of organizations that issued this statement includes All India Democratic Women’s Association, HP (AIDWA), Bhumiheen Bhumi Adhikar Manch, HP, Bharat Gyan Vigyan Samiti, Citizens’ Rights Forum, Kangra, Ekal Nari Shakti Sangathan, HP, Ghumantu Pashupalak Mahasabha, Chamba, Himachal Kisan Sabha, Himalaya Niti Abhiyan, Himdhara Environment Research and Action Collective, Parvatiya Mahila Adhikar Manch, Right To Education Forum, HP, Samajik Arthik Samanta ke Liye Jan Abhiyan, Save Lahaul Spiti, Spiti Civil Society, Sirmaur Van Adhikar Manch, Sambhaavnaa Institute, SUTRA, Solan,  Tower Line Soshit Jagrukta Manch, Himachal Pradesh, and Zila Van Adhikar Samiti, Kinnaur.

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Ugly Brawl at HP Vidhan Sabha on Budget Session’s Opening Day, Five Congress Legislators Suspended for Rest of Session

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HP Vidhan Sabha

Shimla- The Budget Session 2021-22 of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha witnessed an ugly scene on the opening day of the session. The situation was so tense that it led to a scuffle between BJP MLAs, Minister, and Congress legislator including the leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri. Congress alleged that its legislators were manhandled. Following this incident, five legislators including Agnihotri, Harsh Vardhan, Satpal Raizada, Vinay Kumar, and Sunder Singh Thakur were reportedly suspended for the rest of the session. Later, an FIR was also filed against the legislators at the Boileauganj Police Station.

It was shocking to see the Speaker, Deputy Speaker, and Chief Minister jumping into the brawl as it raised concerns about arrangement and management of security at the Vidhan Sabha.

The motion for their suspension was introduced and passed in the absence of opposition legislators.

What Happened at Vidhan Sabha

Mukesh Agnihotri disrupted the speech of the Governor saying that it includes no mention of crucial issues like price rise of petrol, diesel cooking gas, inflation, unemployment, corruption, back-door entries etc. Agnihotri said the speech was nothing more than a bundle of lies. Agnihotri claim that Dattatreya had skipped a major portion of his speech and had chosen to stay mum on these critical issues. Governor Bandaru Dattatraya, following din, did not read the entire speech and ended his speech within 15 minutes abruptly.

Subsequently, the proceedings were adjourned till 2 pm on Monday. 

When the Governor was leaving from Vidhan Sabha, Mukesh Agnihotri, along with other Congress legislators, blocked the road and did not let the Governor’s car leave the premises. Agnihotri was seen trying to lay on the bonnet of the car. Videos clearly showed legislator pushing each other and using a hostile tone. Minister Suresh Bhardwaj was seen falling down on the ground, while Deputy Speaker Hans Raj was seen pushing Congress legislators.

“It’s the first time in the history of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha that the Governor did not read the entire speech and allegedly fled the Vidhan Sabha,” Agnihotri said. He said that Congress legislators only wanted to speak to the Governor.

Agnihotri alleged that they were pushed, dragged, and manhandled even though they were only raising slogans and did not even touch the Governor or the Chief Minister. 

Speaking on the suspension of five Congress legislators, Vikramaditya Singh, MLA of Shimla (Rural) questioned as to why only action was taken on the Congress legislators and not the Deputy Speaker, Hans Raj. In videos, he was seen pushing Congress legislators.

The Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha, Vipin Parmar condemned the ruckus and blamed it on the Congress legislators. He alleged Congress of manhandling the Governor. He said that the incident has brought embarrassment to the State Assembly and the constitution of India. 

Later, when the session was resumed, referring to the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly, the Chief Minister said that Rule number 30 says,

“No member shall interrupt the Governor when he is addressing the House; or display any placard; or shout any slogans; make nay protect; or raise any point of order, debate; or discussion; or otherwise willfully disrupt the proceedings, immediately preceding or during, or immediately following the Governor’s Address under Article 175 (1) of the Constitution and the Governor’s Special Address under 176(1) of the Constitutions, and the commission of any of the above lapses shall be treated as contempt of the House and dealt with as such under these rules.”

The session is scheduled to conclude on March 20.

The chief minister will present the budget for 2021-22 in the Assembly on March 6, Speaker Vipin Parmar had said on Thursday.

 

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