Shimla- So far, eight suspected cases have been reported in Himachal Pradesh, however, all of them have tested negetive, the Chief Minister Jairam Thakur today informed.
However, in wake of the havoc that coronavirus pandemic has wrecked across the globe, Himachal Pradesh Government has invoked the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, (DM, Act.). Under this act, the Deputy Commissioner, Shimla, Amit Kashyap, under Section 34 of the National Disaster Management Act, 2005, issued several directions as precautionary measure against transmission of COVID-19, in Shimla District (HP).
Now, no Langers and Bhandaras will be held in the jurisdiction of the district till 31st March, 2020.
Dhabas, bars, food courts, restaurants, hotels, etc., have been directed to maintain proper cleanliness in their premises and provide adequate facilities for sanitizing to all the visitors/customers. The staff engaged in cooking and serving the food will have to use masks and follow guidelines for proper health hygiene as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI
No Conferences, events, rallies, dharnas, protests, processions etc., will be organised within the territorial limits of District Shimla till 31st March, 2020.
No massage centres, spas, swimming pool, sauna, gymnasium etc. will operate in the district till 31st March, 2020.
The MD, HRTC, Director Transport and MD, HPTDC have been directed to ensure that all the public and private buses and taxis operating in the District are sanitised with the prescribed disinfectants at regular intervals as prescribed by Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, GOI.
The Chief Executive Officer, HPBSM&DA, will have to ensure proper cleanliness and facilities for sanitization at all the bus stands in the district. All these officers will have to ensure and organise necessary briefings and sensitisation of the drivers, conductors and cleaners, through their staff and necessary advisory will be displayed at the Bus Stands and inside the Buses and taxis.
Director, Urban Development and Commissioner, Municipal Corporation Shimla will have to ensure that public places particularly the bus/taxi, sabzi mandis, railway stations, marked areas etc. in the District will be sanitized with the prescribed disinfectant. They have been directed to ensure and organise necessary briefings and sensitisation of their staff. The sweepers/sanitary staff should be provided the PPEs, Gloves, Caps, Masks, Boots etc. to be used by them while working. Garbage would be collected from the households on day to day basis and the same would be disposed of in a proper manner.
The Commissioner, MC Shimla, have been asked to remove all unauthorized fruits/vegetables vendors and rehri walas to avoid congestion on the roads and streets so as to enable pedestrians to have safe distance between each other.
Further, the Director, Tourism, have been directed to ensure that proper precautionary measures are taken in all the hotels, home stay units and other tourism units including proper cleanliness and availability of sanitizers.
All the tourists coming from abroad will have to furnish their information/particulars complete in all respects on the prescribed self-declaration formats, already made available at the hotels, home stay units etc. The details will have to be conveyed to the concerned medical authorities immediately.
All the heads of educational institutions including HPU and other Private Universities will have to ensure to furnish details of all the foreign students, as well as, Indian students having visited foreign countries, who have returned during last one month, to the Chief Medical Officer, Shimla and District Surveillance Officer Shimla.
The Director, Health Services has been directed to take all necessary steps regarding training of health officials /surveillance personnel and providing necessary facilities /equipments /medicines etc. for prevention and control of COVID-19, well in time.
Further, Director, Shimla Airport has been directed to provide all necessary co-ordination and support to the health official’s team deployed at the airport for the purpose of screening of passengers de-boarding at the Airport. Director, Shimla Airport, will have to ensure cleaning of entire airport premises with the prescribed disinfectant at such regular intervals
It has been made mandatory for all the banks to ensure proper cleanliness and availability of adequate sanitizers in the Banks for the customers. The banks have been asked to sanitize ATMs as well.
The Superintendent of Police, Shimla, has been directed to ensure that large congregations are not allowed to gather, in a closed group, at any place within the jurisdiction of District Shimla except at bus stands, railway stations, and airport, where passengers are boarding and de-boarding for their respective destination.
All the shopkeepers, wholesalers, restaurant owners, fruit/ vegetables vendors have been directed to take measures for proper cleanliness in and around their shops/premises. They will have to ensure that buyers are allowed to stay inside the shops as per the space available, without any congestion. The Beopar Mandals are also asked to take steps to educate them and implement the directions being given for maintaining cleanliness.
Further, the public at large has also been informed that section 51 of the Disaster Management Act has provisions for penalties in case a person obstructs any officer or employee in discharge of his duties or refuses to comply with any direction given under this Act. Any violation of the above directions will, therefore, lead to prosecution under section 51 of the Disaster Management Act, 2005, the notification said.
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.