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Low interest loans for farmers soon: Rawat

In his Independence Day speech, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said that his government would launch a scheme to enable farmers get loans at low interest rates. He also urged the hill farmers to voluntarily adopt the land consolidation scheme.

dehradun Updated: Aug 16, 2017 21:31 IST
Deep Joshi 
Deep Joshi 
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,TS Rawat,low interest loans
Chief Minister TS Rawat felicitating freedom fighters in Dehradun on Tuesday. (Vinay Santosh Kumar/HT PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: Farmers would soon be able to get loans at low interest rates in Uttarakhand, which has seen a spate of suicides and deaths due to various factors including the burden of high debt.

In his Independence Day speech, chief minister Trivendra Singh Rawat said his government would launch a scheme to enable farmers get loans at low interest rates. “The scheme will be launched on September 25, the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyay,” he said, adding that a plan was underway whereby the farmers’ income would be doubled by 2022.

At the same time, Rawat urged the hill farmers to voluntarily adopt the land consolidation scheme. “That will help make farming more remunerative due to various schemes encouraged by the government to give boost to cash crops.”

A plan was afoot to strengthen the Atal Adarsh Yojna under which development work would be undertaken in all the 670 village panchayats in Uttarakhand, he said. “This scheme will also help in checking the forced migration from the hills,” Rawat said, adding the people domiciled in Uttarakhand would be entitled to set up 5 megawatt capacity solar power units.

On distress migration from the hills, he said the government has constituted a village development and migration commission. “The forced relocation from the hills has been a long-standing concern. We have constituted a commission which will suggest ways to generate employment for the locals.”

The chief minister announced his government would carry out reconstruction of Kedar Puri, the township around Kedarnth town, which was ravaged by flash floods in 2013. He announced the Rishikesh-Karnapryag rail line project announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be extended up to Badrinath and Kedarnath in the Chardham religious destinations.

Rawat announced fully subsidised cooking gas for the poor families who could not be covered under the centrally funded Ujjawala Yojna. The monthly pension of widows of World War II soldiers would be doubled from Rs 4,000 to Rs 8,000.

About 900 teachers would be appointed in the government-run colleges affiliated to regional universities to improve higher education. E-libraries were being set up in all state-run colleges. A scheme under which research scholarships would be provided to 100 students. “Similarly, free laptops and smart phones will be provided to the poor but talented students,” Rawat said.

The government was working to strengthen school education in the state, he said. “As part of this plan, various measures like clubbing of schools will be undertaken,” Rawat said, adding plans were afoot to set up model residential schools. National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT) books would be prescribed from classes 1 to 12 in state-run schools, he added.

To strengthen the health sector, Rawat said some six state-run hospitals were equipped with online facilities. Rest of the state-run hospitals would be equipped with similar online facilities soon.

Action against absentees

Rawat took note of officials who skipped the Independence Day functions held at the secretariat, directorates and head offices. He directed chief secretary S Ramaswamy and DGP Anil Raturi to seek written explanations from officials who stayed away from the Independence Day functions without citing any reason and alsotake action against them within the 24 hours.

He said the government took a serious view of officials skipping an important occasion like the Independence Day. Rawat warned that adverse entry could be marked against all such officials in their Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs). This is for the first time since the formation of the state 17 years ago that officials skipping the Independence Day functions may invite action

Sops for freedom fighters and their widows

Freedom fighters and their widows along with attendant would travel free in state-run luxury coaches, he said. Till now, freedom fighters and widows of freedom fighters who are not alive, were entitled to travel free only by state-run non-luxury buses.

Rawat directed officials to name all official blocks on the premises of the secretariat after great personalities. The main complex of the secretariat would be named after the late President APJ Abdul Kalam, according to an official note. The block in which the office of the chief secretary is housed would be named after Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose. Similarly, SBI Bhawan and and FRDC Bhawan will be named after the BJP leader late Soban Singh Jeena and Devendra Shastri respectively.

First Published: Aug 16, 2017 21:31 IST