Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its Meeting held here today granted approval to extend the Social Security Pension cover to the permanent residents of Himachal Pradesh who have attained the age of 60 years and above and are residing in Old Age Homes at Basantpur in district Shimla, Bhangrotu in district Mandi and Baijnath in district Kangra and fulfill other requirements of the scheme. Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal presided over the Meeting.

It was approved to release revised Secretariat Pay to different categories of employees working in HP Secretariat, Governor’s Secretariat, HP Public Service Commission, HP High Court, HP Vidhan Sabha and Lokayukta on the analogy of Punjab Government w.e.f. December 1, 2011.

The Cabinet accepted in principal the proposal of the Town and Country Planning Department for Development Plan for Shimla Planning Area and it was decided to first explore possibilities of acquiring the vacant plots in green area by the Municipal Corporation.

It was approved to amend the Himachal Pradesh Town and Country Planning Rules, 1978 by substitution of Sr. No. 1 and 2(a) with Sr. No. 1, 2 and 2 in the sub-rule (3) of Rule 19-E. It was decided to issue draft notification for inviting objections of the public. Thereafter the proposed amendments will be considered by the Cabinet in the light of the objections and suggestions so received.

It was decided to extend the time limit for preparation of Detailed Project Reports (DPR) in respect of Hydro Electric Projects allotted for execution in Dodra-Kwar in district Shimla, Lahaul and Spiti District and Pangi area of district Chamba to 36 months keeping in view the difficult geographical conditions and limited working season in such areas.

It was approved to allow extension to Hydro Electric Projects at advanced stage of execution for non-achievement of milestone by charging an extension fee @ Rs. 10,000 per MW per month to be deposited within 30 days of the issuance of approval letter, enabling IPPs to obtain the clearances and start construction work in allowed time. IPPs will be required to pay interest @ 12 percent in case of non-deposit of extension charges besides all latest provisions of Hydro Electric Policy will be applicable.

It was approved to cancel allotment of Upper Chanju and Lower Chanju, Small Hydro Electric Projects in district Chamba by terminating MOU’s signed with the concerned IPPs for not adhering to the provisions of the MOUs.

It was approved to open gymnasiums in all 3,243 gram panchayats in the State with a view to create health awareness amongst the rural youth and channelise their energy towards positive activities.

It was approved to release Rs. 5,000 per month as Higher Education Allowance to the Specialised Medical Officers possessing Post Graduate Degree and Rs. 2,000 to the others with Diploma in different discipline of Medical Sciences.

It was approved to recruit 150 Pump Operators on contract basis in Irrigation and Public Health Department to maintain regular supplies under essential services.

It was approved to transfer IPH Division No. II, Mandi, to Saigaloo, in district Mandi, alongwith administrative control of two of the sections.

It was approved to promote 24 senior most Surveyors, completing 25 years of service and possessing ITI Certificate, to the post of Junior Engineer (Civil) by relaxing the Recruitment and Promotion Rules of the cadre specific.

It was approved to fill up 21 posts of different categories in the newly created Directorates of Scheduled Caste, OBC and Minority Affairs Department and Women and Child Development; 6 posts of different categories in Economic and Statistics Department, on co-terminus basis, to implement Central Sponsored Scheme under 6th Economic Census; create and fill up 26 posts of different categories besides retaining 6 posts, to implement Rashtriya Madhyamik Shiksha Abhiyan by Education Department; 3 posts of Controller (Finance and Accounts) in Finance Department and 2 posts of Drivers, on daily wages, in HP State Legal Services Authority.

It was also approved to grant 5 percent exemption in the Minimum Qualifying Marks in Teachers Eligibility Tests (TET) for the posts of TGT (Arts, Medical and Non-Medical), Shastri, Language Teacher and JBTs, to the candidates belonging to Scheduled Caste/Scheduled Tribe/OBC and Handicapped categories in Education Department.

In view of the provisions of Right to Education Act, 2009, and decision of the Government of India, it was decided to conduct TET for JBTs through HP Board of School Education.

It was approved to adopt fresh and amended Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the post of Chief Executive Officer in HIMUDA; Deputy Secretary (Non HAS) in HP Public Service Commission; Deputy Director (Fisheries) (Class-I Gazetted) in the Department of Fisheries, Inspector (Hotel) in Tourism and Civil Aviation Department and Junior Engineer (Civil) in Urban Development Department.

It was approved to grant District Level status to Sainj Mela in district Kullu. It granted sanction for purchase of one Mohindra Bolero for Vice Chairman of HP State Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe Corporation; Swift DZire for Additional District Magistrate, Mandi; one Tavera for NDPS Wing of Home Department. It was approved to accept Compliance Report in respect of Maharaja Agarsen Technical Education Society and AP Goyal Charitable Trust.