Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Government has withdrawn tax on all fruits and all vegetables under H.P. Taxation (on Certain Goods Carried by Road) Act, 1999. It’s a good news for the farmers and horticulturists of the State. Transporters would also be relieved from inconvenience for paying the CGCR tax at Parwanoo/ Chakki Mour barrier for carrying fruits and vegetables.
It was informed during the State Cabinet meeting held on June 26, 2018, under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.
The government gave nod to reduce/revise the existing rates of Additional Goods Tax (AGT) under the HP Passengers and Goods Taxation Act, 1955 on iron and steel, yarn and plastic goods to benefit the general public.
Further, the electricity duty on the existing small industries has been reduced from 4 percent to 2 percent. For medium industrial units, the same was cut down from 10 percent to 7 percent.
It was also decided to reduce per unit rate from Rs. 1 to 35 paise to agriculture consumers.
The Cabinet approved to fill up 1036 posts of Trained Graduate Teachers and 844 posts of JBTs in Education Department on a contract basis to cope with the shortage of teachers in the schools, especially in remote and hard areas of the State.
Guidelines for Safe Plying of School Cabs/Buses
The Cabinet approved the transportation guidelines for safe plying of the school vehicles.
According to guidelines, all school vehicles would have first aid box, the emergency number displayed, no curtains or music system and inflammatory items in vehicles and the school vehicles should not be more than 15 years old. It should have speed governor and special provision for specially-abled students etc.
10 % Subsidy on Rooftop Solar Installation
It accorded its approval to provide a subsidy of 10 percent or Rs. 4000 per kilowatt, whichever is less, to all the domestic consumers, institutions (registered under Society and Trust Act) and Social Sectors (Ashrams run by the Government) for installation of solar power plants at the rooftops of the buildings to encourage the use of solar energy.
It also gave its nod in principle to fill up vacant posts of different categories of teachers in remote/hard areas through the concerned School Management Committees (SMCs) in Elementary/ Higher Education Department where there are no teachers. The modalities will be finalized later.
The Cabinet gave its consent to create and fill up 89 posts of different categories to run State Nutrition Resource Centre-State Project Management Unit (SNRC-SPMU), District Help Desk and Block level under National Nutrition Mission being implemented in five districts of the State, viz. Chamba, Hamirpur, Shimla, Solan and Una being implemented by the Social Justice and Empowerment Department.
Three Months to Clear Thermocol Cutlery
The Cabinet gave its consent to impose a ban on manufacturing, stocking, sale and use of thermocol cutlery i.e. thermocol cups, plates, glasses or any other item used for serving or consuming food in the State. The businessmen would get a time of three months to clear their stock and promote petals.
Guidelines for Anti-Hai Net Subsidy
The government approved the guidelines for providing assistance for installation of anti-hail nets as per budget assurance. The scheme will primarily benefit small and marginal and women farmers of the State to reduce qualitative and quantitative losses to their horticulture produce, said the government.
Under the scheme, 80 percent subsidy would be provided to the farmers for purchase of anti-hail nets with the target to bring 30 lakh square meter area under the protection of anti-hail nets during the current financial year.
It gave nod to open three Mahila Police Stations at Chamba, Hamirpur and Solan alongwith requisite staff.
The Cabinet decided to create nine posts of Constables in Police Department to manage Guddiya Helpline and Shakti Button App.
It gave its approval to fill up 13 vacant posts of Statistical Assistant in Women and Child Development Department on contract basis through direct recruitment.
It also decided to provide government employment to eligible dependents of Himachali martyrs of Para-Military forces on the analogy of eligible dependents of martyred soldiers of Army on compassionate grounds.
The Cabinet also decided to make some amendments to the selection procedure of BPL families.
The Cabinet also approved the guidelines for implementation of Mukhya Mantri Greenhouse Renovation Scheme under which 70 percent assistance will be provided for the replacement of poly sheet subject to a maximum of Rs. 44.80 per square meters as back ended the subsidy to the beneficiaries.
Pradhan Mantri Matri Vandana Yojna was also approved by the Cabinet under which ‘Rajya Kaksh’ and ‘Zila Kakshas’ would be established.
It gave its approval to the guidelines for implementation of Himachal Pushpa Kranti Yojana for promoting floriculture in the State.
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.