Eye on elections, Himachal CM announces benefits for employees, pensioners
With an eye on the assembly elections this year-end, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur on Tuesday announced financial benefits for employees, pensioners, police personnel besides free electricity for consumers.
Presiding over the Himachal Pradesh Statehood Day function at Solan, Thakur announced that his government had implemented the new pay scale from this month, benefitting 2.25 lakh employees. The move has put an additional burden of ₹6,000 crore annually on the state exchequer.
“It has come to my notice that employees were not getting proper benefits under the two options which they have been given to opt from. Now, a third option will be given and if there is still some shortcoming, the government will reconsider their demands and decide accordingly,” he said.
Government employees in Himachal Pradesh have played a crucial role in tilting the political scales.
The chief minister also announced enhanced dearness allowance for the state government employees. He said that the government had announced 28% DA on revised pay scales. “However, now the state government employees will be given 31% DA, which is on a par with central government employees,” he said.
The DA will be given from the due date and it cost the exchequer ₹500 crore.
The chief minister said that the state government was sympathetic towards the demands of pensioners and despite its limited resources, pensioners would be given benefits on the basis of the Punjab Pay Commission, which will benefit 1.75 lakh pensioners. The decision will put an annual additional burden of ₹2,000 crore on the state government.
Reiterating his commitment to the welfare of low-income groups, he said: “Domestic consumers will be provided free electricity up to 60 units. Consumers, whose electricity consumption is up to 125 units, will be charged ₹1 per unit instead of ₹1.90,” he said adding the decision will benefit 11 lakh domestic consumers.
In a relief to farmers, the per-unit cost of electricity will also be cut to 30 paise from 50 paise. The decision will be effective from April 2022.
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