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First Time in Indian History, a Govt Took Money from RBI due to Steep Economic Slowdown: Congress

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HP Congress economic slowdown meeting at shimla

Shimla- Ahead of the by-election to Pachhad and Dharamshala seats, Himachal Pradesh Congress has opened a front against the Centre government over the economic slowdown. As a part of its election campaign, Congress has already made a call to its party-workers to highlight issues like unemployment, demonetizations, and hasty implementation of GST among the voters.

The faulty policies of the Narender Modi led Centre government has pushed India backwards in terms of development and has destroyed the national economy, said Senior Congress leader Anand Sharma while addressing a State level Convocation on Economic slowdown in India at the HP Congress Headquarters in Shimla on Tuesday.

For the first time in Indian history, a government has transferred money from the Reserve Bank of India, which clearly means that the government is facing a serious financial crunch, said Sharma. The government is not able to pay refunds of over Rs 10 lakh crores under GST.

HP Congress economic slowdown meeting at shimla3

Sharma said that the image of the country was tarnished due to devastation caused to the economy due to wrong decisions taken by the current government and that it would not be easy to recover from this economic slowdown. He said that demonetization and faulty implementation of the GST has hit the unorganized sector where 90 percent people were employed. Small, as well as, big businesses in the unorganized sector, which was contributing 45 percent towards total production of the nation, have either shut down or are on the verge of shut down.

As a result, lakhs of people employed with this sector are staring at a dark future.

Sharma said that Prime Minister Narender Modi isn’t concerned about the nation at all in such a time. He hasn’t spoken even a word about the current condition of the Indian economy. He lauds the economic status of the nation in foreign countries, which is a lie, he said.

Sharma said that during the Congress government, India had come across a phase of economic slowdown, however, under the capable leadership of then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, negative implications of it were averted.  Sharma said that BJP leaders had made fun of Manmohan Singh when he had expressed his concern over the deteriorating economic condition. However, now the BJP government is face to face with that situation.

Sharma suspects a possible scam of worth nine thousand crores in the upcoming budget, which, he said, would be fatal to the economy of the nation.

He further alleged the Modi government of dictatorship in a democratic system. Media is afraid of showing the truth to the people and only displaying promotional content. Media is not highlighting the wrong decisions of the government, he said. For the first time in history, 70 thousand crores were spent on elections in 2019. Out of it, 60 thousand crores were spent by BJP only. Sharma questioned the source of such a huge investment. He also said that this election was not fought over real issues but on the agenda of nationalism.

However, he said, the people of India can not be misled for long. Sooner or later, they will realize the reality of the current government and throw it out of power.

Other leaders including HPPC Kuldeep Rathore also addressed the meeting.
HP Congress economic slowdown meeting at shimla 2

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Jio TV Launches Three new Channels in Himachal for Elementary, Higher and Vocational Education

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jio tv education channels in himachal pradesh

Shimla– Jio TV has launched three new Elementary, Higher and vocational channels in Himachal Pradesh. The Government of Himachal Pradesh has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jio TV on 20th August, 2020 so that Education Department could reach the students. The government said that soon two more channels would also be started for students.

E-content of every subject for students of 1st to 12th classes would be made available on Jio TV. If any student is unable to view this e-content as per the subject schedule due to any reason, then the missed e-content will be available in catch up throughout the week. On converting this facility to video on demand, the overall education is going to be made available through Himachal Pradesh Jio TV soon, the government said.

In the view of COVID-19 pandemic, currently, the state government is running WhatsApp groups for pre-nursery to 12th standard. Other than that, Gyanshala programme is being run for class 10th and 12th through Doordarshan Shimla.

According to the state government, online content is being prepared by 200 teachers (State Resource Group) of the state.

It’s pertinent to mention that students of government schools have been facing a huge loss in terms of studies as WhatsApp groups haven’t proved effective enough to be termed as online education. As most children in government schools come from economically weak background and rural areas, procuring smartphones and Internet service is no less than a challenge for them. While private schools are using web applications like zoom and google hangout to conduct online classes, according to several teachers, government school students and their parents are not taking study through WhatsApp groups seriously.

The state government has yesterday decided to open schools for regular classes for students of 9th to 12th standard. The syllabus has been cut short but still teachers are likely to face tough time covering it.

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Himachal to Set up 100 Swachhta Cafés Worth Rs. 10 Crore to Promote Traditional Cuisine, Collect Tonnes of Single-Use Plastic

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swachhta cafes in himachal pradesh

Shimla-Swachhta cafe would be set up in Himachal Pradesh with an estimated cost of around Rs. 10 crores by the year 2023. The State Government would set up around 100 such cafes. Ten such “Swachhta Café” would be set up at important locations of the state with an estimated cost of rupees one crore with a target to collect  25 tonnes of single-use plastic items from different parts of the state by end of this financial year.

It was informed by Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister Virender Kanwar recently.

Under this “Swachta Café” program, plastic waste will be purchased from the ragpickers, individuals collecting waste from households and urban local bodies at Rs. 75 per kilogram in exchange for food or other eatable items to motivate the ragpickers and individuals to keep their surroundings clean.

The Swachhta cafe will be constructed under “Village Haat Scheme” where women will be facilitated to sell medicinal plants, such as giloye, peppermint, powder of neem leaves and homemade pickles, murabba, wheat flour, pulses, spices and vegetable vat reasonable prices.

The women running the Swachhta Cafe will be given training in the hospitality sector to enable them to cook popular traditional cuisine to maintain original flavour and taste of the dishes. Around 100 such women will be trained by the hospitality experts during the current financial year, he informed.

He further informed that a target has been fixed to train around five thousand women belonging to self-help groups in the next three years in the hospitality sector to run these cafes.

The first Swachhta Café was inaugurated at Gram Panchayat Radiali in Nalagarh area in Solan, which is to be run by women self-help groups and another cafe would be opened at Naggar in Kullu Districts. Under the scheme, if a person brings more plastic waste then he can use the surplus money for dining in next time in the cafe.

Minister said that the programme aims that villages are made completely free of single-use plastic in coming years and the entire state will be covered under the scheme in a phased manner in coming years. 

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While People Await Relief Amid Pandemic, HP Govt Minister Faces Backlash for Buying New Luxury Car

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GOVind Singh Thakur luxury car purchase

Shimla-While the Himachal Pradesh is getting buried under a mounting debt of over 54 thousand crores and people struggles due to economic crisis amid pandemic, a new report regarding the purchase of a luxury vehicle for a Cabinet Minister has sparked a controversy. All Ministers already have SUVs, but that doesn’t seem to have satisfied their desires for more comfort and higher status. Also, this purchase was made at a time when Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is advocating cutting short unnecessary expenditures.

According to a report published in media, the state Education Department has purchased a Rs. 18 lakh ‘Tata Harrier’ SUV for Education Minister, Govind Singh Thakur.

According to the report, the minister already has two government vehicles – a Fortuner and an Innova- and ‘Harrier’ was the third edition to his fleet. Responding to media quarries, the Department has justified the purchase by reasoning that the Innova had got older and was not fit for use.

The report also said that the decision to buy a new luxury car was taken during the tenure of Suresh Bhardwaj as the Education Minister, who later delayed it due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The earlier proposal was to buy an Innova Cresta. The new Education Minister, however, didn’t show reluctance like Bhardwaj and went ahead with buying an SUV amid the pandemic.

It’s pertinent to mention that the nation, as well as, the state is reeling under the wave of an economic slowdown. The state government is taking loans worth thousands of crores on the pretext of this slowdown. The government is facing criticism over such unnecessary expenditures on the luxury of ministers while the public still awaits relief.

This is not the first such instance where the public tax money was wasted despite financial crisis. Earlier, the state government had allegedly not only purchased a Rs. 25 lakh SUV but also bought a VIP number for Rs 1 lakh in March this year. A media report had said that though the SUV was registered in the name of the XEN, IPH Division, Dharampur, it was being used by a Minister’s son. The officials remain in the field from morning to evening so they require AC cars, the Department had justified.

Earlier, as the Transport Minister, Govind had also remained in news over the alleged misuse of a government vehicle by the wife for visiting a parlor in October 2019.

Also Read: Why was HP Transport Minister’s Wife Using Govt Vehicle for Shopping, Parlour Visits: Public and Opposition Ask

Political leaders, as well as, the public had raised the issue and asked as to why the wife of Govind Thakur was using government vehicle to go to a beauty parlour and for shopping in Chandigarh. After facing a backlash from the public, the Chief Minister had ordered an inquiry, which never saw the light of the day.

Photo Credit: FB/Govind Singh Thakur

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