Budget session: Poll promises to be met in phased manner, focus on green initiatives, says Himachal governor - Hindustan Times
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Budget session: Poll promises to be met in phased manner, focus on green initiatives, says Himachal governor

By, Shimla
Feb 15, 2024 06:20 AM IST

In his speech on the opening day of the budget session, the governor highlighted the efforts made by the Congress government in facing the challenges posed by the “worst ever natural disaster” during the Monsoon and also focused on green energy initiatives pursued by the current dispensation

The state government is committed to fulfilling all poll promises in a phased manner and lack of funds would not come in the way of development, Himachal Pradesh governor Shiv Pratap Shukla said on Wednesday in his ceremonial address to the budget session.

(From left) Himachal governor Shiv Pratap Shukla, assembly speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur outside the Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Wednesday. (Deepak Sansta/HT )
(From left) Himachal governor Shiv Pratap Shukla, assembly speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania, chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu and leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur outside the Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Wednesday. (Deepak Sansta/HT )

In his speech on the opening day of the budget session, the governor highlighted the efforts made by the Congress government in facing the challenges posed by the “worst ever natural disaster” during the Monsoon and also focused on green energy initiatives pursued by the current dispensation.

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The speech, however, failed to include the employment provided by the chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu-led government.

Several initiatives have been taken to make Himachal the first green energy state of the country by 2026, and diesel and petrol vehicles are being replaced with electric vehicles, the governor said.

He said that the state government increased the relief under the special package by 5 to 20 times more than the norms of the Union government and the relief for completely damaged houses was increased from 1.3 lakh to 7 lakh.

The government implemented 680-crore Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Scheme, 2023 aimed at providing self-employment by launching an e-taxi scheme under which a 50% subsidy was given for purchasing electrical vehicles. Besides, solar energy is also being encouraged.

The government extended the benefit of Old Pension Scheme to employees covered under NPS and 1.15 lakh of them have opted for OPS and their General Provident Fund (GPF) numbers have been generated.

Indira Gandhi Mahila Samman Nidhi Yojana has been implemented and 2.43 lakh women, including those eligible from Lahaul-Spiti district and eligible women pensioners in the categories of elderly, widows, abandoned and disabled women, would be given 1,500 per month in the first phase.

The government has adopted the election manifesto of the Congress party as a policy document and all promises made to the people of the state will be fulfilled in a phased manner and lack of funds will not affect development works, the governor said.

In his speech, Shukla said three corridors of specific medicinal plants Tejpatta Corridor in Jogindernagar (Mandi); Arjun Corridor in Neri (Hamirpur); Moringa Corridor in Jungle Jhalera (Bilaspur) have been established and work is in progress to set up Taxus Corridor in Dhumreda (Shimla).

The government is developing Kangra district as a tourism capital by spending 3,000 crore. Besides strengthening tourism infrastructure, new tourism activities like modern golf courses, zoos, tourist areas, wellness tourism and ecotourism are also being developed.

The state government started Mukhya Mantri Sukh Aashray Yojana for comprehensive care of orphans and 4,121 have been declared as Children of the State and 7.65 crore had been spent on them.

A new scheme, Mukhya Mantri Vidhwa Evam Ekal Nari Awas Yojna has been launched for widows and single women and 50,000 was being provided to eligible women for constructing new houses, he said.

Himachal Road Transport Corporation launched Pratham Darshan Seva to strengthen transport services to religious places and 12,535 contract carriage permits for taxis, maxi cabs and buses were issued during the last one year.

On other important decisions, the governor said that the 500 crore Him Ganga Scheme has been started to improve the milk-based economy of farmers and Digital Media Policy, 2024 has been notified for effective and cost-effective dissemination of news regarding developmental policies.

He said that the Prevention of Illegal Traffic in Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act, 1988 (PIT NDPS) Act has also been notified providing for preventive detention of offenders for one year.

The Himachal Pradesh Rajya Chayan Aayog (HPRCA) has been set up to replace the Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, which was scrapped due to irregularities in recruitment exams.

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