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No Permit Required for Inter-District Movement, Nod to Open Public Transport, Barber Shops/Saloons, Run Cabs, Auto Rickshaws

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HP Cabinet Meeting May 23, 2020

Shimla– The State Cabinet meeting was held on May 23, 2020, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. Among various decisions, the Cabinet has decided that the private schools in Himachal Pradesh would be allowed to charge only tuition fee. The school won’t be allowed to make cuts in the salary of teachers or fire them during the period of lockdown. This decision was taken in view of the lockdown due to outbreak of Novel Corona Virus in the country, as well as, in the State.   

Further, decision has been taken to start public transport, including both private and government buses, from June 1st in all parts of Himachal Pradesh. While buses would ply from one district to another, inter-state transport would remain suspended. Buses would carry only 60 percent of their passanger capacities to ensure social distancing. The buses would be allowed to pass through containment zones but no passanger would be allowed to enter or exit the bus in these areas. No hike would be made in bus fares, the Cabinet decided. Cab services and auto-rickshaws would also be allowed to operate Monday onwards. 

The decision was also taken  to allow opening of the barber shops/saloons Monday onwards.  The Government informed that guidelines would be issued regarding the same soon. Also, now private vehicles would not require curfew passes to move within districts. Street vendors/Rehadi/phadi would also be allowed to operate Monday onwards. 

However, the schools and educational institutes will remain closed for now.  

The Cabinet also decided to establish three Fast Track Special Courts at Shimla, Rampur for Kinnaur district and at Nahan, district Sirmaur to deal with the rape/POCSO cases for a period of one year.

The Cabinet also authorized all the District Magistrates of the State under the proviso of Sub-Section (4) of Section 144 of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 to extend the order issued by them under Section 144(1) of the Code upto 30th June, 2020. 

It was decided to implement the recommendations of 15th Central Finance Commission in the State.  Under  this Commission, out of the total grants received from it, 70 percent would be provided to Gram Panchayats, 15 percent to Panchayat Samitis and 15 percent would be allocated to Zila Parishads for undertaking various developmental works.

The Cabinet decided to levy transfer fee at the time of issue of permits under L-19 A licenses from local distilaries (D-2) located within the State   for procurement of all kinds of spirits i.e. Ethyl Alcohol, ethanol, rectified spirits, ENA and absolute alcohol used in  manufacture of sanitizers at the rate of Rs. 4.50 per bulk litre. This would give an additional revenue of about Rs. five crore to the State exchequer. 

It also gave its consent to levy license fee for Bar licenses L-3,L-4, L-5, L-4 and L-5 and L-4A and L-5A and Minimum Guarantee Quota on pro-rata basis for the year 2020-21.

It gave its nod to start a scheme for ‘Rehabilitation of Stray Cattle’ in Himachal Pradesh gau sadans in the State.  In the initial phase, it was decided to provide Rs. 500 per cow for cows in gausadans/gaushalas and cow sanctuaries.

The Government believes that it would help solve the problems of stray cattle, encourage individuals and organizations to adopt stray cattle, provide assistance for running of cow sanctuaries.  The Animal Husbandry Department was advised to complete tagging under Information Network for Animal Productivity and Health (INAPH) Scheme as per Government of India’s guidelines at the earliest.

The Cabinet gave its nod to complete shifting of works transactions of Jal Shakti Department and Public Works Department to Treasury Mode by abolishing the LOC system from 1st July 2020.

It said this step was taken to achieve transparency, accuracy and efficiency in the payment and accounting process for works transactions and to eliminate delays in pairing of payment and receipt instruments.

The Cabinet gave its consent to extend the period of four Special Land Acquisition Units (SLAUs) for a further period of one year with effect from 1.3.2020 to 28.2.2021 alongwith permission to continue with staff already engaged. These include SLAUs, Bilaspur, Pandoh-I, Pandoh-II and Shahpur for the acquisition of land for construction of four laning projects of Kiratpur-Bilaspur-Nerchowk-Pandoh, Pandoh-Takoli, Takoli-Kullu-Manali and Pathankot-Chakki-Mandi respectively.

It also gave its approval for an extension of Special Land Acquisition Unit (SLAU), Nalagarh for further one year from 1.1.2020 to 31.12.2020 for acquiring land for four laning of NH-21A Baddi-Nalagarh-Swarghat.

The Cabinet decided to transfer land in favour of Ministry of Defence, Government of India for the establishment of ECHS Polyclinic and ESM, CSD Canteen at Dehra Gopipur in district Kangra free of cost to facilitate the ex-servicemen and army personnel of the State.

The Cabinet decided to amend the ‘Mukhya Mantri Swavlamban Yojna-2019. Now units sanctioned under this scheme would come into commercial production within one year from the date of disbursement of the first instalment of loan by the bank under the Scheme for both manufacturing and service enterprises. Besides, in case such units have been set up by widows who are bonafide Himachali and having age upto 45 years, the amount of eligible subsidy has been enhanced from 30 percent to 35 percent.

It gave its nod to provide NOC in favour of Shri Lal Bahadur Shastri Government Degree College and Hospital, Ner Chowk district Mandi for increasing B.Sc. nursing seats from existing 40 to 60 seats.

The Cabinet gave its approval to create and fill up one post of Assistant Professor in Radiology and Gastroenterology in IGMC Shimla and one post each of Assistant Professor Anatomy and Pediatrics Department in Dr. Rajendra Prasad Government Medical College, Tanda.

The Cabinet decided to upgrade Veterinary Hospital at Nagrota Bagwan in Kangra district to Zonal Veterinary Hospital alongwith creation and filling up of seven posts of different categories to man this hospital.

 

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Himachal Records 16 COVID-19 Deaths Including a 16-Year-Old – Highest in a Day This Year

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COVID-19 update himachal pradesh april 20

Shimla-The fatality rate due to the COVID-19 spread is witnessing a sharp increase in Himachal Pradesh. Yesterday, the state had reported 13 COVID-19 deaths, but today the fatalities rose to 16 in a day. A total of 1340 new cases were recorded today till 7 pm. Kangra district reported the highest six deaths, followed by Shimla (4), and Una (3).

Find more details about the deceased below:

Highest covid 19 deaths in himachal pradesh

The infection claimed the life of a 16-year-old girl in Una district. According to the state health department’s official report, she developed severe pneumonia and was a patient of Diabetes Mellitus Type-1. Other deceased aged between 36-78 years.

Earlier today, the Deputy Commissioner of Una, Raghav Sharma, had issued orders to keep markets/shops closed on Sundays and issued timings for the remaining days. A prohibition was imposed on all sorts of events and social gatherings. The orders would come into effect from April 22, 2021.

Also Read: Himachal: Govt Announces More Restrictive Measures, DC Una Closes Shops on Sundays, Issues Timing for Other Days

Further, Chief Minister Jairam today announced more restrictive measures as an attempt to contain the spread (Watch Video Below).

Solan district reported the highest 265 cases, followed by Una (173), Shimla (164) and Sirmaur (155).

Find more district-wise details below:

Himachal pradesh daily covid-19 report april 20

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Himachal: Govt Announces More Restrictive Measures, DC Una Closes Shops on Sundays, Issues Timing for Other Days

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hp govt's new restrictions in himachal pradesh

Una-Deputy Commissioner of Una district, Raghav Sharma, has issued an order for the imposition of new restrictive measures from April 22, 2021, in wake of the ongoing spike in COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the district. The DC also expressed fear of community spread and ordered that markets would remain closed on Sundays in both rural and urban areas of the district.

However, these orders would not apply to drug stores, hotels, dhabas, and restaurants. Further, shops selling dairy, vegetables, fruits and meat would also remain open on Sundays from 7 am to 8 pm. Saloons and barber shops would also be allowed to operate on Sunday between 9 am to 6 pm.

All shops would remain open from Monday to Saturday within the given time period, which is 7 am to 8 pm for fruit, vegetable, meat, and dairy shops, and 9 am to 6 pm for saloons/barber shops, and 9 am to 6 pm for remaining shops.

Also Read: With Neighboring States Going to Curfew, Himachal’s Tourism Sector Again Comes to a Halt

A prohibition has been imposed on the organization of all sort of cultural, religious, political, sports and other gatherings in the district. For attending marriages and funerals, the permission of the district administration would be required.

Today, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur also told the media that the number of people allowed in social gatherings, like marriages, has been reduced to 50 for both indoors and outdoors.

For government employees, working days have been reduced to five days a week and staff capacity to 50 percent. Public transport would operate with only 50 percent capacity.

For marriages or any sort of other social, cultural, political events, prior permission of one week would have to be obtained by applying online at the official portal.

The inter-state transport would remain operational, the government said. People returning from high load states were advised to carry COVID-19 negative reports and obey home-quarantine rules strictly.

Orders for Government Employees from Department of Personnel

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COVID-19 Vaccination in India to Open for All Aged Above 18 Years in 3rd Phase: Govt

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All above 18 in india eligible for covid-19 vaccination

New Delhi-From May 1, 2021, everyone above the age of 18 would be eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination, the Government of India decided today. As per the government, the decision has been taken as a good amount of coverage of vulnerable groups is expected by 30th April.

Pertinent to mention that a demand was being raised to open vaccination for all amid the peaking second wave of the pandemic which is proving to be deadlier than the first one. On Sunday, former Prime Minister of India, Manmohan Singh, had also written to Prime Minister Narender Modi to be more flexible in deciding eligibility for vaccination as it was the only hope. He had pointed out that when we look at the percentage of population instead of the absolute numbers, we see that only a small fraction has been covered so far. He had also suggested reworking on the current model adopted by the government. 

Singh had asked the Prime Minister to allow states to define who qualifies as a ‘frontline worker’.  Many states wanted to designate bus and taxi drivers, school teachers, municipal and panchayat staff, and even lawyers as frontline workers to make them eligible for vaccination even if they are below the requisite 45 years of age.

Phase-I of the National Covid-19 Vaccination Strategy was launched on 16th January 2021, prioritizing vaccination of Health Care Workers (HCWs) and Front Line Workers (FLWs). Phase-II was initiated from 1st March 2021, focusing on the most vulnerable i.e. all people above 45 years of age, accounting for more than 80% of Covid mortality in the country. The private sector was also roped in to augment capacity.

So far, Emergency Use Authorisation has been granted to two indigenously manufactured vaccines (Serum Institute of India and Bharat Biotech), and a third vaccine (Sputnik) that while presently manufactured abroad will eventually be manufactured in India, the GoI said.

The government said that in its Phase-III, the National Vaccine Strategy aims at liberalised vaccine pricing and scaling up of vaccine coverage, the GoI said. This would augment vaccine production as well as availability, incentivising vaccine manufacturers to rapidly ramp up their production as well as attract new vaccine manufacturers, domestic and international. It would also make pricing, procurement, eligibility and administration of vaccines open and flexible, allowing all stakeholders the flexibility to customise to local needs and dynamics, the GoI said.

The main elements of the Phase 3 Strategy of the National Covid-19 Vaccination program that would come in effect from 1st May 2021

(i)      Vaccine manufacturers would supply 50% of their monthly Central Drugs Laboratory (CDL) released doses to Govt. of India and would be free to supply the remaining 50% doses to State Govts. and in the open market (hereinafter referred to as other than Govt. of India channel).

 (ii)    Manufacturers would transparently make an advance declaration of the price for 50% supply that would be available to State Govts. and in the open market, before 1st May 2021. Based on this price, State governments, private hospitals, industrial establishments etc would be able to procure vaccine doses from the manufacturers. Private Hospitals would have to procure their supplies of Covid-19 vaccine exclusively from the 50% supply earmarked for other than Govt. of India channel. Private Vaccination providers shall transparently declare their self-set vaccination price. The eligibility through this channel would be opened up to all adults, i.e. everyone above the age of 18.

(iii)    Vaccination will continue as before in Govt. of India vaccination centres, provided free of cost to the eligible population as defined earlier i.e. Health Care Workers (HCWs), Front Line Workers (FLWs) and all people above 45 years of age.

(iv)    All vaccination (through Govt. of India and Other than Govt. of India channel) would be part of the National Vaccination Programme, and mandated to follow all protocol such as being captured on CoWIN platform, linked to AEFI reporting and all other prescribed norms. Stocks and price per vaccination applicable in all vaccination centres will also have to be reported in real-time.

(v)     The division of vaccine supply 50% to Govt. of India and 50% to other than Govt. of India channel would be applicable uniformly across for all vaccines manufactured in the country. However, the Government of India will allow the imported fully ready to use vaccines to be entirely utilized in the other than Govt. of India channel.

(vi)    Govt. of India, from its share, will allocate vaccines to States/UTs based on the criteria of extent of infection (number of active Covid cases) & performance (speed of administration). Wastage of vaccine will also be considered in this criterion and will affect the criteria negatively. Based on the above criteria, State-wise quota would be decided and communicated to the States adequately in advance.

(vii) The Second dose of all existing priority groups i.e. HCWs, FLWs and population above 45 years, wherever it has become due, would be given priority, for which a specific and focused strategy would be communicated to all stakeholders.

(viii) This policy would come into effect from 1st May 2021 and will be reviewed from time to time.

Feature Photo: ivvndiaz/unsplash

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