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HP Cabinet Meeting June 2019: 10% Reservation for Economically Weaker Sections, Hike in Social Security Pensions Among Other Decisions

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HP Cabinet Meeting 2019

Shimla-A meeting of the State Cabinet of Himachal Pradesh was held today. It was the first Cabinet meeting after Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Following are the decisions taken in the meeting:

  • The Cabinet decided to provide 10 percent reservation for Economically Weaker Sections of the society in Class-I, II, III and IV posts in government sector. The decision would benefit those candidates whose family gross income is below Rs. 4 lakh and were not covered under the existing scheme of reservations for the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and the Other Backward Classes.
  • It decided to increase the social security pension of old age, widows, destitute, handicapped, lepers etc.  from existing Rs. 750 to Rs. 850 per month and that of old age pension for those above 70 years of age from Rs. 1300 to Rs. 1500 per month. This increase would be applicable from 1st July 2019.
  • It decided to increase the limit of maximum of three rooms registered under the Home State Scheme to four rooms.
  • The Cabinet gave its nod to implement ‘Mukhya Mantri Roshni Yojana’, under the scheme, 17550 free electricity connections will be provided to poor families during the current financial year.
  • The Cabinet gave its approval to enhance the procurement price of citrus fruits such as Kinnow, Malta, Orange and Galgal under Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for the year 2019-20 by fifty paise per kg from the existing support price to ensure the remunerative price of citrus fruits to the fruit growers. As many as 54 procurement centres would be opened in different parts of the State, which would remain functional from 21st November 2019 to 15th February 2020.
  • The Cabinet gave its approval for ‘Himachal Pradesh Industrial Investment Policy 2019′. The policy aimed at redressal of issues impending industrial growth and ensure simplification of procedures, key physical and social infrastructure, human resource development, access to credit and market. It also aimed at promoting ‘Ease of Doing Business’ by the digitization of all processes and to promote self-certification.
  • The Cabinet also gave its approval to enhanced incentives to Medium Small and Micro Enterprises (MSME), introduction of new concept of Anchor Units with higher incentives than larger industries, incentives for Common Industrial and Social Infrastructure like Schools, Hospitals, other common facilities, provision of reimbursement of NET SGS up to 90 percent for seven years, interest subvention  on the term loans to industries for three to five years with maximum limit of Rs. 20 lakh per year.
  • It also approved increased Floor Area Ratio (FAR) for industrial units of different categories. It also approved capital subsidy for the establishment of new private industrial areas/theme parks, concession in the electricity duty and rebate on electricity tariff to the tune of 15 percent.  The cash incentive will be provided to the units employing more than 80 percent Himachalis in their units and service sectors.
  • The cabinet decided to provide additional concessions for setting up such units over and above the incentives given to the industries.
  • The Cabinet decided to simplify the provisions of Rule 38-A of the H.P. Tenancy and Land Reforms Rules, 1975 for issuing Essentiality Certificate for setting up of investment projects in the State approved by the State Level Single Window Clearance and Monitoring Authority.
  • The Cabinet gave its approval for Himachal Pradesh Film Policy, 2019 which aims at promoting rich cultural heritage and scenic beauty of the State through films.
  • It also gave its approval to enhance the lump sum incentive money from Rs. 6000 to Rs. 12000 for wards of Ex-servicemen and widows of soldiers for SSB coaching for becoming Officers in armed forces.
  • It gave its approval to start two new trades i.e. electrician and mechanic diesel in Government Industrial Training Institute  Kaffota and trades of Plumber and Electrician in Government ITI Shillai in Sirmaur district alongwith creation and filling up of 24 posts of various categories to man these institutions.
  • The Cabinet gave its consent to create 13 posts of Court Managers in the establishment of Himachal Pradesh High Court Registry to enhance the efficiency of the District Judicial System.
  • It decided to fill up of 15 posts of different categories on a contract basis in Dr. Y.S. Parmar Horticulture and Forestry University Nauni, Solan.
  • It also decided to fill up 11 posts of Drivers on a daily wage basis for Agriculture Science Centres through Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar Himachal Pradesh Agriculture University, Palampur.
  • A nod was also given by the Cabinet to fill up four posts of Drivers on daily wage basis in Horticulture Department.
  • It also put its seal on the creation and filling up of one post of PGT (Political Science) and one post of TGT (Computer Science) through direct recruitment on a contract basis.

Misc News/Press Release

CM Jairam Thakur Tests Positive for COVID-19, Quarantined

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HImachal Pradesh CM Tests Positive for COVID-19

Shimla-Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Jairam Thakur, have tested positive for COVID-19 and has been quarantined at his official residence. The report was confirmed by the Chief Minister through a tweet in which he informed that he was under quarantine at his residence after coming into contact with a COVID-19 positive person. On the appearance of symptoms, he got himself tested and the report was found to be positive, he informed.

According to the initial report, the Chief Minister had come in contact with some COVID-19 positive persons in Manali. MLA of Banjar, Surinder Shourie, who was positive for COVID-19 had participated in the event organized on the occasion of the inauguration of Rohtang Tunnel, had also tested positive. Shourie had spent the entire day with the Chief Minister, reports said.

His private secretary had also tested positive, and there are chances that the Chief Minister might have contracted the infection from him. However, there is no certainty regarding the contact who infected the Chief Minister.

Other than Chief Minister, three Cabinet ministers – Urban Development Minister Suresh Bharadwaj, Power Minister Sukh Ram Chaudhary, Jalshakti Minister Mahender Singh- have tested positive so far.  Over ten MLAs have already tested positive and some of them have recovered too.

Meanwhile, despite community spread, the testing and tracing seem to have fallen and the fatality rate has witnessed a steep rise. Till 12 pm today, the COVID-19 death tally for the state was 245, and the total number of cases registered was 17414. But these are official statistics and these numbers are likely to be much higher. 

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Himachal: COVID-19 Kills 59 in 9 Days, Govt Still Clueless About Actual Number of Cases

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Himachal PRadesh Jairam Thakur

Shimla-COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc in Himachal Pradesh as the death tally spirals upward rapidly. Currently, 240 people have lost their lives due to COVID-19. Fifty nine of these deaths have been reported during the last nine days of October month, which is quite alarming. But contrary to that, the attitude of the state government, as well as, the public is becoming more casual. The SOPs issued by the government are hardly being followed anywhere. The fact that with the community spread, the cases of COVID-19 are falling in the official information released by the state Health Department.

On October 9, the Department traced only 199 cases but reported seven deaths. The total number of active cases was cited to be 2856. The deceased included three females and four males aged between 49 -75 years. View details of the deceased in the below-given table:

Shimla-covid-19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The total number of cases, as per the official statistics, had reached 16977 till yesterday evening (9 PM). But these are official statistics and the real number is likely to be much higher due to a community spread. Similarly, the actual number of COVID-19 deaths could be higher than the official statistics. Despite it, the state government is reluctant to release any projection regarding the real numbers. No statements have been issued regarding the current situation and strategy to combat the rising fatality rate. Rather, the state appears to be refraining from bringing up the matter.

The oppositions, HP Congress and CPI (M), are targeting the government over its failure to combat the spread of COVID-19. However, this opposition is quite feeble and hasn’t resulted in any reforms in the attitude of the government.

In a statement to media, Sanjay Chauhan, former Mayor of Shimla and a senior CPI (M) leader, said that the rise in fatalities is the result of the government’s lackadaisical attitude. The suicide committed by a positive patient at the DDU COVID-19 hospital is evidence of it, he said. He said this approach has endangered health lives of ministers, officials, and the staff at their offices. Further, he said, health staff, paramedical staff, and police staff are getting infected, and even losing lives due to the government’s unpreparedness.  The government had even compromised the safety of the Prime Minister and Education Minister by violating norms set regarding COVID-19, he said.

HP Congress chief, Kuldeep Rathor also expressed shock over the presence of COVID-19 positive MLA of Banjar, Surender Shourie, in the event organized for the PM. He alleged that by violating all norms, the MLA concealed information regarding his COVID-19 positive status and did not quarantine himself, which reflects the state government’s attitude toward management of the corona pandemic. He had demanded registration of an FIR against Shourie and action against erring officials.

Sanjay Chauhan, further said that the government did not prepare itself to combat the pandemic the way it was expected to. The people of the state had followed the lockdown and sacrificed their livelihood with a hope that the government would prepare itself during this period to combat the spread and to strengthen the health infrastructure and services. But instead, the government indulged itself in making people clap and beat ‘thalis’.  The Chief Minister adopted and preached unscientific practices like performing a ‘havan’.  Despite a steep rise in fatalities, the government is still not serious about the situation, he said. 

He said the CPI (M) demands that the government starts working on war footing to prepare a strategy by involving health experts, strengthening the health services by recruiting doctors, para-medical and other staff, and constitute a task force to deal with the situation. The government should work diligently on following the norms set for prevention from COVID-19, he added.  

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Shocker for Himachal as Ex-CBI Chief & Governor Ashwani Kumar Found Dead at His Shimla Residence

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Himachal IPS Officer Ashwani Kumar found deat in shimla

Shimla-Ashwani Kumar – 1973 IPS officer from Himachal Pradesh cadre who had served as the Director-General of HP Police (2006-2008) and CBI chief (August 2008 to November 2010), and was later appointed the Governor of Nagaland in 2013-was found dead at his residence in Shimla on Wednesday evening. The news came as a shocker as Kumar was considered as one of India’s finest and honest officers.

Superintendent of Police, Shimla, Mohit Chawala, in statement to news agencies, confirmed the report. According to the initial report, he reportedly hanged himself and ended his life. However, no formal statement was issued regarding the suicide. According to the police, a suicide note was also recovered from the spot. However, the note was yet to be verified.

Kumar was a well known name as he had dealt with famous cases including that of Arushi Talwar murder and fake encounter of Sohrabuddin Sheikh in which current Home Minister Amit Shah was arrested in 2010.

He was one of the first appointees made to resign from the post of Governor, Nagaland, as soon as the current ruling party came into power in 2014. He also remained Governor of Manipur for a short period of time. After his retirement, Kumar was serving as the Vice-Chancellor of a private university in Shimla.

The officials who have served under Aswani Kumar have expressed shock over his demise in such a manner. 

Director-General of Police, Sanjay Kundu, and a team of medical staff was rushed to the spot. More details are awaited as the district police have not issued any formal statement regarding the incident.

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