Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in its Meeting held here today decided to provide free Net Books to 4,000 topper students in Matric class passing out from Government Schools all over the State and continuing with their higher studies with a view to provide them easy assess to latest global technologies and equip themselves with thorough knowledge of computer technology. The decision will cost the State Government Rs. 6.50 crore. Prem Kumar Dhumal, Chief Minister, presided over the Meeting.

It was decided to grant 5 percent concession in the power tariff to the industrial units which have come into operation after April 1, 2012. The decision is likely to benefit the industrial units immensely, especially those where power consumption is high.

It was decided to purchase 27 more vehicles to strengthen the fleet of 108 Ambulances further to 135 ambulances, under Atal Swasthya Sewa, and provide access of the services to common man residing in rural and remote areas in the State.

It was approved that the developers implementing Hydro Electric Projects shall be permitted to transfer the ownership by way of selling their equity stakes beyond 51 percent after allowing a stability period of 6 months from the date of achieving Commercial Operation of the Project instead of the current two years. The provision will be applicable to Projects of all sizes.

It was approved to allot 3.5 MW Chhoo Small Hydro Electric project in Pangi Valley in district Chamba to M/S L&T Power Development Limited for meeting construction power requirement of Sach Khas (149 MW) HEP in Pangi Valley of district Chamba on the condition that the allottee shall pay additional royalty as per their bid for main project over and above the base rate of 6 percent, 15 percent and 24 percent, and shall also abide by other terms and conditions of present Power Policy for projects upto 5 MW capacity. It was approved to amend the Power Policy of the State to clarify the provisions relating to allotment of SHEP (Small Hydro Electric Projects) upto the capacity of 2 MW by reserving the same exclusively to the bonafide Himachali entrepreneurs, including Co-Operative Societies/ Companies /Voluntary Societies/Trusts/Partnership concerns/Sole Proprietorship concerns comprising wholly of bonafide Himachalis. Same provisions will be applicable for allotment of such projects upto 5 MW and preference will be given to the bonafide Himachalis. It was decided to provide the dilution of 26 percent shares from Himachali to Non-Himachalis for small projects shall be allowed at any stage after allotment instead of restricting it to construction period only. The Government may consider the request of the promoters to transfer ownership wholly or partially to any other bonafide Himachalis/Co-operative Societies/Companies/Voluntary Societies/Trusts/Partnership concerns/ sole proprietorship concerns comprising wholly of bonafide Himachalis at any stage after allotment. It was approved to allow development of Bara Bhangal (200 MW) HEP in two stages keeping in view the area falling in Wildlife Sanctuary.

Cabinet also decided to allow opening of Imported Timber Sale Depots in rural areas to meet the requirement of the area specific. It was decided to fix Excise Duty on the ‘Ready to Drink Beverages’ having alcoholic strength of 8 percent and above. It was approved to set up permanent Police Post at Taklech village in Rampur Sub-Division of district Shimla.

It was approved to purchase one Bullet Proof vehicle,10 LMVs, 20 Motor Cycles and one Truck/Troop Carrier Vehicle for State Police Department under Modernization of State Police Programme.

It was approved to issue letter of intent in favour of Abhilashi Education Society for starting BAMS course at Chail Chowk, tehsil Chachiot, district Mandi with the condition that it will first construct and operate 100 bedded hospital at the site.

It was decided to create one post of Radiation Safety Officer in Radiology Department of IGMC, Shimla; 16 posts of different categories for Himachal Pradesh Technical University, Hamirpur, 3 posts of drivers to be filled in GAD on secondment basis from Departments/Boards/Corporations. It was decided to construct Parking-cum-Commercial Complex at Bilaspur on Public Private Partnership (PPP) Mode.

It was decided to sanction new vehicles for Sub-Divisional Officers (Civil) of Lahaul, Udaipur in district Lahaul and Spiti and Nadaun in district Hamirpur for more frequent mobility within their jurisdiction and in view of maintaining effective law and order conditions in the area.

It was decided to frame fresh Recruitment and Promotion Rules in respect of Head of the Department (Applied Sciences and Humanities) (Class-I Gazetted) in Technical Education Department, Executive Engineer (Civil) (Class-I Gazetted) in Himachal Pradesh Public Works Department.