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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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HP Cabinet Decisions Jan 14, 2022: No New Covid Restrictions, Nod to Tax Waiver for Transporters & Other Decisions

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HP Cabinet Decisions January 14, 2022

Shimla-A meeting of the Himachal Pradesh Cabinet was held on January 14, 2022. It was expected that the state government could take a decision on imposing more Covid-19 restriction considering the sudden surge in daily new cases, however no such decision was taken. 

The Cabinet took various decisions including a nod to dispense with the process of 15 marks evaluation and enhancement of weightage of written test from 85 to 100 marks for direct recruitment to Class-III posts.

Tax Waivers for Transporters

The Cabinet gave its ex post facto approval for 100 percent waiver/ exemption of Token Tax, Special Road Tax and Passenger Tax of various categories of vehicles to provide relief to the transporters keeping in view the effect due to corona pandemic.

HP Cabinet decided to waive of remaining 50 percent Token Tax on Stage Carriage, Taxi, Maxi, Auto and Contract Carriage buses, Institutional Buses and 100 percent Token Tax on Contract Carriage Buses and Special Road Tax on Stage Carriage with effect from 1st August 2020 to 30th June 2021. I

The Cabinet also decided to waive off 100 percent Token Tax on Stage Carriage, Contract Carriage and Institutional Buses and Special Road Tax of Stage Carriage with effect from 1st July 2021 to 30th November 2021.

It also decided to waive off 100 passenger tax on contract carriage and institutional buses with effect from 1st April 2020 to 30th November 2021.

The HP Cabinet gave its approval for restructuring of State Taxes and Excise Department. Creation and filling up of posts would be carried out by the Department in a phased manner in consultation with the Finance Department and sync with the restructuring proposal.

The Cabinet gave its approval to fill up 108 posts of different categories in the Revenue Department on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 42 posts of Silk Inspectors in the Industries Department on a contract basis.

The Cabinet decided to fill up 13 posts of different categories in the Printing and Stationery Department.

It decided to fill up three posts of Statistical Assistant in Revenue Department on contract basis.

Relief to Flood Affected Farmers of Lahaul-Spiti

The Cabinet gave its nod to provide relief to flood-affected farmers of Lahaul-Spiti district for current agriculture and horticulture losses caused due to extensive rains on 27th to 30th July last year. The farmers would be provided Rs.2000 per bigha for losses between 25 to 50 percent, Rs. 2500 per bigha for losses between 50 to 75 percent and Rs. 3000 per bigha for losses to agricultural and horticultural crops above 75 percent. Rs. 3000 per bigha would also be provided to farmers for losses to their lands caused due to landslides/flash floods/avalanches etc. and Rs. 1000 per bigha would be provided for the desilting of agricultural and horticultural lands. 

It also gave planning permission for the construction of the PHC building between Lions Club and Housing Block No. 46 in Sector 6 New Shimla with relaxation beyond permissible norms in the public interest.

HP Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy-2021

HP Swaran Jayanti Energy Policy-2021 for clean and green energy development through expeditious of full energy potential especially hydro and solar. The Government aims to add 10000 MW of green energy through hydro, solar and other green energy sources by 2030 and the development of green energy sources

It also aimed at developing a transmission Master Plan to facilitate planning and timely execution of hydro and solar projects. It also lays stress on renewal energy sources viz. solar, wind, biomass and other non-conventional energy sources.

HP Swarnim Jayanti Sports Policy 2021

The Cabinet gave its approval to the Himachal Pradesh Swarnim Jayanti Sports Policy 2021 to develop and maintain sports infrastructure, encourage public-private participation in creating sports infrastructure, coordinate with educational institutions for the promotion of sports and to encourage, train and support sportspersons for participation and excellence in national and international championships with high standards of ethics. 

 

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Covid Restrictions Increase as Himachal Reports a Big Spike With 1200 New Cases in 24 Hours

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covid restrictions in himachal pradesh 2022

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh is witnessing a sudden spike in the number of daily Covid-19 positive cases as warned by the health experts and the government. In a span of eight days, the rate of new cases has jumped to more than double.

On Monday, of the total 9942 samples tested for Covid-19, 1200 were found to be positive with two Covid-19 deaths.  This number was below 500 on Sunday.

The surge has come ahead of the `warning of the third wave which is expected to peak by the March-end.

The state government has begun to increase restrictions as a precautionary measure. But the most crucial measure – restrictions on visitors from outside the state- is yet to be attended. Currently, Hill state is reporting a huge footfall of tourists due to snowfall. All tourist destinations are crowded with tourists as it’s the peak season. The imposition of restrictions on visitors would affect the tourism industry.

Also Read: HP Govt Closes Educational Institutes in State in Wake of Surge in Daily Covid-19 Cases

The HP Government has already imposed a night curfew, closed all educational institutes, banned all social and religious gatherings and imposed conditions on the number of people for those which have been allowed, shifted to a 5-day week for the government offices with only 50% attendance. Further, timings of the opening of the markets/shops have also been modified. However, these restrictions wouldn’t apply to chemists/medical stores. These restrictions would remain in force till January 26, 2022. 

Also Read: HP Govt Offices to Operate 5-Days a Week with 50% Attendance, Ban on Social and Religious Gatherings

In the Shimla district, the shops/markets would be allowed to open between 10 am to 7 pm.  However, motor mechanics are allowed to remain open till 11 pm. Similarly, restaurants can remain open till 10 pm, and those located along the National Highways till 11 pm.

In the Una district, all shops/markets except some would be allowed to open only till 6:30 pm and will remain closed on Saturday.

The district administration of Hamirpur has decided this timing to be between 6 am to 6 pm. The markets would remain closed on Saturday and Sunday except for those selling essentials.

For the Kullu district, shops/markets would remain open till 6: 30 pm and 6 pm in Solan. Similarly, administrations of respective districts have the liberty to create their roaster for these timings.

The return of these restrictions to the state and the warning of more daily cases during the next couple of months is causing a panic in the public, worsened by speculations of a possible lockdown in stock.

 

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HP Govt Offices to Operate 5-Days a Week with 50% Attendance, Ban on Social and Religious Gatherings

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hp govt office timing 2022

Shimla-Himachal Pradesh Government offices, including PSUs, local bodies, and HP Secretariat, will operate five days a week with only 50% attendance from Monday, said a notification released on January 9, 2022. These orders would remain in effect till January 24, 2022.

According to the state government, the measure was taken in wake of the sharp rise in Covid-19 cases recently.

However, if required, the district administrations can deploy any government employee for duties related to vaccination, surveillance, monitoring of persons under home isolation, manning the check posts, making data entry or monitoring, calling home isolated patients etc.

These offices would remain closed on Saturdays and Sundays. However, these restrictions would not apply to offices handling emergencies or essential services – health, police, fire, banks, electricity, water and sanitation, public transport, telecom, excise, budget etc.

All social and religious gatherings have been completely banned till January 24.  However, other gatherings, including political, academic, sports, entertainment, and cultural, would be allowed with the condition of 50% indoor/outdoor capacity. A maximum of 100 persons would be allowed indoors and 300 persons outdoors. Prior permission would have to be obtained from the respective district administrations before organizing any event in the allowed categories.

At religious places or places of worship, a complete ban would remain in force on langars, community kitchens, dhaams (public feasts) across Himachal Pradesh.

The notification said that respective district administrations would be responsible for deciding the timing of opening and closing of markets/shops in their districts.

HP Government has already decided to keep all educational institutes, except Medical, Dental and Nursing Colleges, closed till 26th January. A night curfew from 10 pm to 6 am is already in force.

Also Read: HP Govt Closes Educational Institutes in State in Wake of Surge in Daily Covid-19 Cases

However, no restrictions have been imposed on the movement of visitors to the state. Currently, the tourism industry of the state is in its peak season due to snowfall, causing overcrowding at tourist destinations.

Unfortunately, the compliance with Covid protocols as given by the state and centre governments is quite low, especially with tourists thronging the state in a large number.

 Further, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur has also cancelled his public meetings/events till January 15. He has urged the public to comply with Covid-related guidelines.

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