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
HP Govt Employees to Get Higher Pay Scale on Completion of Two Years of Service: CM Jairam
Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government employees working in different departments before January 3, 2022, would be given a higher scale at par with other employees on completion of two years tenure of regular service. A higher pay scale was also announced for the Junior Office Assistants (IT) on completion of two years of regular service.
Chief Minister Jairam Thakur made these announcements during the Karamchari Maha Sammelan of the Himachal Pradesh Non-Gazetted Employees Federation at the hotel Peterhof on Sunday.
He appreciated the role played by the employee especially frontline workers in the battle against the pandemic.
He said most of the government employees in the state have been given revised pay scales and on average, every employee has got the benefit of a 12 to 15 percent salary hike. There has also been an increase in the pension of about 1.50 lakh pensioners of the state. The financial benefits of Rs. 7801 crore have been given to state government employees and pensioners from the year 2018 to 2022. The pensioners who retired before 2016 are getting the benefit of a 15 to 20 percent increase in the pension while around 40 thousand pensioners who retired after 2016 would be benefitted soon, he said.
He said the daily wages were Rs. 210 in the year 2017 which has been increased by the present state government to Rs. 350. Similarly, 12 per cent interim relief annually has been provided to government employees and pensioners during the present government’s tenure. He said the Himachal government has provided Dearness Allowance to its employees and pensioners on the lines of Punjab and Central governments from the due date. The Punjab government has given only 5 percent interim relief to the employees while the Himachal government has provided 21 percent interim relief to its employees.
“Out of the total interim relief amount given to the employees and pensioners amounting to about Rs. 6500 crore, Rs. 3500 crore has been paid during the tenure of our government” added the Chief Minister.
He said that the state government has increased the government contribution for NPS employees from 10 percent to 14 percent benefitting more than one lakh employees. The NPS employees are being given the benefits of retirement and death gratuity at par with employees falling under the old pension scheme. The government has also increased the upper limit of death gratuity from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh.
The Chief Minister said the state government has also increased the honorarium of para-workers working in various departments. The salary of outsource workers has been hiked by Rs 1,500 per month.
Non-Gazetted Employees Federation President Ashwani Thakur thanked the Chief Minister for providing various financial and other benefits to different categories of government employees.
Most Covid Restrictions to be Lifted From March 31, Mask and Hand Hygiene to Continue
New Delhi-The Centre has issued a notification to the States informing that the provisions of the Disaster Management (DM) Act, 2005 will not be invoked in the country after March 31. The Union Health Ministry said that the use of face masks and following hand hygiene will continue.
It implies that most of the Covid-related rules and restrictions would end.
Union Home Secretary Ajay Bhalla issued the notification which said that the decision was taken following the overall improvement in the situation and the preparedness of the government in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
However, local authorities and State police can still invoke fines and criminal cases against persons violating COVID-19 norms under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), a senior government official said.
The DM Act was invoked on March 24, 2020, due to the pandemic
“Over the last seven weeks or so there has been a steep decline in the number of cases. The total caseload in the country stands at 23,913 only and the daily positivity rate has declined to 0.28%. It is also worth mentioning that with the combined efforts, a total of 181.56 Cr vaccine doses have been administered,” the notification said.
“I would like to mention that in view of the nature of the disease, we still need to remain watchful of the situation. Wherever any surge in the number of cases is observed, the States/UTs may consider taking prompt and proactive action at a local level, as advised by MoHFW (Health Ministry) from time to time,” the notification said.
The Indian government had issued various guidelines and measures for the first time on March 24, 2020, under the Disaster Management Act to curb the COVID-19 situation in the country, which have been modified several times thereafter.
India currently has 23,087 active COVID-19 cases and recorded 1,778 new cases and 62 deaths in the last 24 hours. The daily positivity rate has also declined to 0.28%.
HP Cabinet Decisions: Country Liquor Made Cheaper in New Excise Policy, Read All Decisions
Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on March 20, 2022, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The excise policy for the financial year 2022-23 was approved. Approval was also given for the renewal of retail excise vends in the state for the financial year 2022-23 at the renewal fees of 4% of the value of unit/vend.
The State Government said that wants to enhance the government revenue and curb the smuggling of country liquor from the neighbouring states by a reduction in its price.
The brands of Country Liquor will be cheaper as license fees have been reduced. This will help in providing good quality liquor at a cheaper rate to the consumers.
In the new excise policy, the 15% fixed quota of country liquor for manufacturers and bottlers to be supplied to the retail licensees has been abolished. According to the government, this step will give the retail licensees to lift their quota from the suppliers of their choice and further assure the supply of good quality country liquor at competitive prices. The MRP of country liquor will be cheaper by 16% of the existing price.
In this year’s policy, the Gaudhan Vikas Nidhi Fund has been enhanced by Re.1/- from the existing Rs.1.50 to Rs.2.50.
The fixed annual license fee of Bars has been rationalized by abolishing the area-specific slabs of license fee. Now throughout the State, there will be uniform license slabs based upon the room capacity in hotels.
Rates of the annual fixed license fee of Bars in the tribal areas has been reduced considerably.
Further, all the above stakeholders will have to install CCTV cameras at their establishments as it was made mandatory for them.
Wholesale vends and retail vends, the penalty provisions under the H.P. Excise Act, 2011 have been made more stringent.
An end to end online Excise Administration System would be established in Himachal Pradesh, the government said.
HP Government estimates a collection of Rs 2131 crore revenue during the year, which will be Rs. 264 crores higher than the financial year 2021-22 – growth of 14% in state excise revenues.
The Cabinet also gave its nod to amend Himachal Pradesh Disaster Relief Manual-2012 to include deaths due to biting of honey bees, hornet and wasps, accidental drowning and deaths due to accidents of vehicles (including land, water and air) under this Manual.
The Cabinet gave its approval for filling up 11 posts of ‘A’ Class Tehsildar in Revenue Department through direct recruitment on regular basis through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
HP State Toll Policy 2022-23
The HP Cabinet also gave its nod to HP State Toll Policy for the year 2022-23 which envisages auction cum tender for all the toll barriers in the State. During the year 2021-22, toll revenue has registered a growth of 20 percent of the previous year’s revenue.