Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its Meeting granted approval to the Eco-Friendly Organic Farming Policy to benefit small, medium and large farmers, by making efficient use of local/renewable resources, improve fertility of the soil, maximize circulation of plant nutrients and motivate farmers to avoid use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides etc. Policy aims at providing support services to farmers switching over to organic farming. Critical cadres of scientific manpower with knowledge of organic agriculture will be built up. Scientists of Dr. Y.S.Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, Nauni, Solan and Chaudhary Sarvan Kumar University of Agriculture, Palampur, will be carrying exhaustive research in organic farming besides introducing Diploma/Certificate Courses in Organic Agriculture.

Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal presided over the Meeting. Approval has been granted for the procurement of citrus fruits during the intervening period from November 21, 2011 to February 15, 2012, under Market Intervention Scheme, through 54 Procurement Centres to be established in different areas and per kilogram procurement price for Kinnow/Malta/Santra fixed at Rs. 5.85; Malta for Grade B and Rs. 5.25 for Grade C respectively. Galgal procurement price fixed at Rs. 4.15. HPMC, HIMFED and HP Agro Industries Corporation will be designated agencies for procurement of the fruit. Handling charges for Kinnow/Malta/Santra will be Rs. 3.50 per kg and Galgal Rs. 1.50 per kg.

Committee also approved the Draft Mukhya Mantri Grameen Parivahan Scheme to generate self employment to the educated unemployed youth by generating opportunities to operate transport vehicles on various routes, besides providing transportation facility to the villagers who have so far not been availing the benefit of regular transport service. Vehicle owners granted permits will be covered under Special Road Tax. Private operators plying buses on routes not covered by HRTC buses and carrying pass holders will be eligible for financial incentives from the State Government. 29, 22 and 17 seater bus operators, on giving undertaking of carrying pass holders, at Rs. 2,200, Rs, 1,500 and Rs. 1,000 per month as financial incentive respectively from the State Government. Unviable routes shall also be included on need basis.

Cabinet decided to enhance the superannuation of faculty members of Medical and Dental Colleges in the Medical Education Department in the State of Himachal Pradesh from existing 58 to 62 years. It has been decided to make Rain Water Harvesting System from the roof tops of the buildings compulsory in the planning areas of the State by carrying amendment in the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Rules, 1978 so that optimum use is made of the same for non-consumption purposes. Draft Himachal Pradesh Disaster Management Rules, 2011 has also been granted approval. Approval has been granted to the Amendment in fixation of circles rate for determining stamp duty and registration fee for sale and purchase of the land in the State.

It has been decided to accept the bid of M/s Ropeway and Resorts Limited, Kolkata, for execution of Palampur-Neugal Ropeway Project in district Kangra for construction of the same on BOT basis. The selection of 150 persons for the posts of Patwari candidates in Revenue Department. It granted approval to fill up 100 posts of Junior Engineers in Public Works Department to strengthen the field work force in the department. Approval has also been granted to fill up 20 posts each of the Surveyor and Steno-typists in Public Works Department through direct recruitment on contract basis. It has been decided to regularize the services of 5 daily wagers working in HIMUDA as Peon/Chowkidar, on fulfillment of mandatory conditions.

Cabinet also granted approval to the revision of the provisions in the Himachal Pradesh Land Record Manual for issuing computerized certificates for various requirements and also simplify procedure for mutation. Cabinet approved cancellation of MOU with Himachal Indage Limited for setting up of Wineries in Nagwain in district Mandi and Pragati Nagar in district Shimla forthwith. It granted permission to put nine small mineral mines falling in Neugal Khad of Palampur in district Kangra to public auction. Approval has been granted two settlement of liabilities by HP Financial Corporation of to the Small Industries Development Bank of India (SIDBI) amounting to Rs. 67.15 crore on payment of Rs. 40 crore in 19 quarterly instalments.

Cabinet decided to changes in location/elevation in respect of 17 Small Hydro Power Projects as per the conditions laid down in the present Power Policy. It has been decided to upgrade the Institute for Disabled Children at Sunder Nagar to plus two level. This will serve the hearing impared and visually impaired children. It has been decided to open 5 Government Polytechnics in the districts of Sirmour, Bilaspur, Kullu, Kinnaur and Lahaul and Spiti. It granted permission to fill up vacancies of six Naib Tehsildars, in the Revenue Department in Shimla Division through direct recruitment through HP Public Service Commission. It granted approval to the Amendment in the Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicles Rules, 1999 by incorporating provision that no vehicle owner shall paint or exhibit any particulars or insignia other than the registration mark in the Registration Plates of their vehicle. It granted approval to the rationalization of Token Tax of public and private transport vehicles by amending the Himachal Pradesh Motor Vehicle Rule, 1999, Schedule-I aimed at checking traffic congestions and pollution problems.

Cabinet approved Amendment in Himachal Pradesh Registration of Societies (Amendment) Act, 2011, by bringing Sports Societies also into the ambit of the Act and raise the annual balance sheet limit from Rs. 5 lakh to Rs. 20 lakh for publication of the same in the newspapers and save the small societies from financial liabilities. It has been decided to create one Irrigation and Public Health Division for Finna Singh Medium Irrigation Project at Sadhwan, Nurpur, district Kangra. It has been decided to transfer ownership of PWD Rest House in Main Bazar, Hamirpur to the local Municipal Committee.

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