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HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Lower, middle income groups exempted from paying water tax

Deep Joshi  Dehradun, March 01, 2014
First Published: 16:36 IST(1/3/2014) | Last Updated: 16:43 IST(1/3/2014)
DEHRADUN: In what appears to be a move aimed at wooing the people ahead of the Lok Sabha polls the state cabinet on Friday announced a series of sops that included exempting the lower and middle income group people in rural areas from paying the water tax.

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"Similarly, the urban poor too will be entitled to water tax exemption. The middle-income group people in urban areas will, however be entitled to 50% water tax exemption", revealed chief secretary Subhash Kumar while briefing reporters about cabinet decisions.

Referring to the disaster-hit Rudraprayag district he said the government would pay maximum monetary compensation to the traders in the temple town of Kedarnath and Tilwada whose houses had been wiped away by the June deluge last year. The government would pay 90% monetary compensation to the traders who suffered the property losses of Rs. 25,000 to Rs. 2 lakh.

"In case of  traders who suffered the property losses between Rs. 2 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh the government would pay 80% monetary compensation ", the CS said adding, half of the monetary compensation would be paid to the disaster hit people in that category would be in the form of loan. "A total of Rs. 45 crore would be paid to the disaster-hit people as monetary compensation", he clarified.

Besides, the cabinet had also approved a proposal recommending that the twin agencies namely Indo-Tibetan Border Force (ITB) and the Border Roads Organisation (BRO) be allowed to purchase certain quantity of sand and gravel etc for rebuilding of roads that had been wiped away by the June disaster. The cabinet also decided to upgrade two villages - Munsyari (Pithoragarh) and Chaubatia (Almora) as Nagar Panchayats whereas the Dharchula (Pithoragarh) and Naugaon (Almora) Nagar Panchayats had been accorded the municipal board status, the CS revealed. Besides, the annual financial grant of Rs. 1.5 crore given to the minority welfare department and the Waqf board had been substantially increased to Rs. 10 crore, the CS said.
 
Referring to the water tax exemption granted by the government to the rural urban poor he said the immunity would pose a financial burden of Rs. 32 crore on the government. "The amount would be paid from the chief minister's relief fund for the fiscal 2014-15", he said. In the coming years, however, there would be a separate budgetary provision to meet the cost of water tax exemption.

The cabinet also gave its nod to a proposal recommending that all 1278 teachers currently being trained be provided permanent jobs. Similarly 910 Shiksha acharyas would be promoted and regularised. Besides, 200 lecturers who had been appointed on an ad hoc basis would also be regularised by the department of higher education.
The government had also agreed to increase vacancies for BA TET teachers (those who qualify for jobs after taking the Teachers' Eligibility Test) had been increased from 980 up to 1898.

"All BA-TET teachers would be posted in the disaster-affected areas", the CS said adding that 1000 more vacancies for BA-TET teachers were also be created by April 1, 2015.  Besides, the cabinet had also accepted a proposal under which the Below Poverty Line (BPL) families would be provided rice and wheat at cheaper rates. "Under that scheme, per kg rice and wheat would be available to the BPL families for Rs. 3 and Rs. 2 respectively", the CS revealed.


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