Himachal Pradesh chief minister Virbhadra Singh has said the state government was committed to providing equal opportunities to all communities so that they could progress and contribute to the overall development of the state.
While presiding over the meeting of the State Scheduled Caste Welfare Board, here on Thursday, the CM said uplift of underprivileged and weaker sections of society was the top priority of the state government.
Currently, 56 castes are included in the list of Scheduled Castes (SC) and reservation was being provided to them in government jobs.
He said the government was providing social security pension to 3.39 lakh persons of different categories under various pension schemes.
Virbhadra also suggested formulating some guidelines or finding a solution to restrict those who sold their ancestral land for pecuniary profits and later became landless and applied for land from the government.
While discussing an agenda submitted by one of the members on "pick and choose policy" for below poverty line (BPL) families and ignoring those eligible in the gram sabha meetings, the CM said any anomalies by any person in proceedings of the gram sabha meetings should be reported immediately so that appropriate action could be taken to provide justice to the eligible BPL or Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP) families.
The CM directed for construction of a cremation ground in Shodinaali Koha village in Sillagharat panchayat in Chamba district, and also for releasing Rs 2 lakh each for renovation of temples of Vishnu in Harijan Basti of Diswani gram panchayat and in Harijan-inhabited area of Tikri gram panchayat in Chirgaon.
He also directed to provide Rs 3 lakh for renovation of Vishnu temple in Harijan Colony of Kharshali gram panchayat in Chirgaon in Shimla district.
Later, the CM presided over the 10th meeting of the Kabir Panthi Welfare Board and said various recognised computer courses were being run in the state.
Under the scheme, Rs 1,200 were being provided as monthly training fee and Rs 1,000 scholarship during the training period to SC BPL candidates.
He said 1,584 candidates were getting benefits under the Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Application, Diploma in Computer Application Desk Top Publication, besides Certificate Course in Computerised Accountancy, during this fiscal for which a provision of `284 lakh had been made.
Virbhadra said Rs 1,220 crore were being spent on SC Sub-Plan. Besides, Rs 392 crore were also being spent on various schemes and programmes for the uplift of SC, Scheduled Tribes, women, children and aged persons during this financial year.
He said the state government would provide all possible assistance to promote and protect traditional handloom vocation in the state.
Social justice and empowerment minister Dhani Ram Shandil detailed various other welfare schemes being implemented by the government for the welfare of the community and the youth.
Excise and taxation minister Prakash Chaudhary, chief parliamentary secretaries Nand Lal and Mansa Ram, chief secretary P Mitra, Anuradha Thakur, secretary, social, justice and empowerment, additional chief secretaries, and senior officers of the state government, besides members and representatives of the SC Welfare Board were present at the meeting.