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.
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.