Shimla: The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet which met here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh approved certain amendments in the Skill Development Scheme-2013 of the State government to bring more youth under the ambit of this scheme.

Cabinet has given its approval to lower the age limit for the eligible youth from 18 to 16 years and minimum educational qualification from matriculation to 8th class. An educated unemployed applicant can apply for the grant of allowance along-with the prescribed documents to the employment exchange where he or she is registered or to the employment exchange under whose jurisdiction the applicant is obtaining training.

The Cabinet approved to reduce VAT from 4% to 2% on sales of goods made through CSD canteens to military/ex-military personnel in the State. It approved enhancement in honorarium of Anganwari Workers of Mini Anganwari Centers in the state with effect from 4 July, 2013. Now, Anganwari Workers will get Rs. 2500 per month.

The cabinet also decided to make toll-free call centre’s operational for women and children in distress in the State. This decision comes in fulfillment of the Chief Minister’s announcement during his budget speech. A toll-free call centre with 108 toll free number will be established for helping women and children in distress and all calls to 1091 and 1092 numbers will be diverted to this number. GVK EMRI who is operationalising National Ambulance Service in the State will also make these call centre’s operational.

The cabinet gave its nod to guidelines for management of Local Area Development Fund (LADF) in respect of Hydro Electric Projects. It has been decided that ADM, Bharmaur will be the Chairperson of Local Area Development Committee (LADC) instead of SDM, Bharmaur for projects up to 25 MW located in Bharmaur sub-division of Chamba district. ADC, Spiti at Kaza and Resident Commissioner Pangi at Kilar will be Chairperson of LADC for all projects located in Spiti sub-division of Lahaul & Spiti district and Pangi sub-division of Chamba sub-division respectively.

Bahra University

The cabinet gave consent for constitution of Hamirpur planning area under H.P Town and Country Planning Act, 1977 to bring the peripheral areas of Hamirpur district under the ambit of this Act with an objective of planned and regulated development. The surrounding 52 revenue villages and Municipal area covering combined area of 2942 hectare will be taken for planned and regulated development.

It gave approval for creation of new Soil Conservation sub-division at Dharamshala comprising soil conservation sections, Dharamshala, Rait and Nagrota Bagwan.

The decision was taken that the power of all four hydro electric projects being executed by HPPCL will be disposed of through long term Power Purchase Agreements (PPA’s) as is being done by Central Power Sector Undertakings (CPSU’s) and power will be offered to different consumers of the region or elsewhere on the same terms and conditions as are applicable in case of CPSU’s.

It was decided to allot Sissu (0.80 MW) and Limphu (2.75 MW) small hydroelectric projects in Lahaul-Spiti district in favour of M/S Chandra Valley Hydro Power Projects Cooperative Society Limited and Awa-II (2 MW) SHEP in district Kangra in favour of M/S Him Power Projects.

The cabinet also gave approval for fragmentation of 70 MW Harsar hydroelectric project in three stages having capacities of 30 MW, 22 MW & 18 MW subject to fulfillment of laid down conditions.

Approval was also granted for fragmentation of 45 MW Bharmour HEP for implementation in two separate stages of 22.5 MW each.

It agreed to open new Medical Block at Rampur in Shimla district for providing public health services and better administration as the present Nankhari Medical Block is spread over a large geographical area causing difficulty in administration and implementation of various health schemes.

It approved restoration of upper age limit for appearing in the HPAS etc, combined competitive examinations in respect of direct candidates and government employees to the level it was prior to its curtailment i.e. 42 years in respect of government employees and 35 years in respect of other direct candidates.

The cabinet gave approval for consultancy services for detailed feasibility study and preparation of detailed project report for three traffic tunnels namely Bangana-Dhaneta, Holi-Utrala and Bhbbujot. Approval was also given to offer Bangana-Dhaneta tunnel on Built Operate & Transfer (BOT) basis to private parties by inviting International Competitive Bid (ICB).

It gave its consent for the proposal of sharing the cost of Bhanupalli-Bilaspur-Beri railway line project as decided by the Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) in 2008. It also agreed to bear 50 percent project cost of Chandigarh-Baddi new rail line as the Railway Board has proposed to fast track this line by including it in A-2 category.
Approval was granted to rename Government Senior Secondary School (Boys), Santoshgarh in district Una as Late Shri Virender Gautam Memorial Government Senior Secondary School, Santoshgarh.

The cabinet also gave approval for framing first statutes of Maharaja Agrasen University at Baddi in Solan district.

Approval was given to fill up 125 posts of Junior Draughtsman in HP Public Works Department on contract basis by way of direct recruitment, batch wise and through HP Subordinate Services Selection Board, Hamirpur.

Approval was granted for filling up of two vacant posts of Assistant Architect and six posts of senior Draughtsman in HP PWD.

It approved framing of Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the post of Deputy Director (class-I) in the Sainik Welfare Department.

It approved filling up of five vacant posts (class-I gazetted) of H.P Police Service of direct recruitment quota in the pay band of Rs. 15600-39100 + 5400 grade pay through H.P Public Service Commission.

It was decided to fill up three posts of Naib Tehsildars A-class through direct recruitment in Shimla, Mandi and Kangra divisions.

The cabinet decided to loan a sum of Rs. 6 crore to HIMFED from Agriculture Cooperative Credit Stabilization Fund at a simple rate of interest of 5 per cent per annum thereby enabling the federation for timely and sufficient procurement of fertilizers for sale to the farmers in the State.

With a view to bring parity in tax component to be borne by the Direct Benefit transfer for LPG (DBTL) consumers and non-DBTL consumers, the cabinet approved amendment under Rule 17 of the HP VAT Rules, 2005.

The decision has been taken for amendment in Rule 15-A (VII) (D) of Recruitment and Promotion Rules for the contractual employees of State Government. In exceptional cases where the circumstances for the unauthorized absence from the duty is beyond the control of the employee due to medical grounds without the approval of controlling officer, such absence will not automatically lead to the termination of the contract. However, in exceptional cases where the circumstances for un-authorized absence from duty beyond his/her control on medical grounds, such period will not be excluded while considering the case for regularization. But the incumbent will have to intimate the Controlling authority well in time in this regard.

It decided to impose ban on felling of species of trees of Popalar, Eucalyptus, Albazzia, Bahuna, Willow and Mulberry in private land.

The cabinet gave its nod to create one post of Executive Officer and two posts of Senior Assistants on secondment basis for the H.P Building and Other Construction Workers Welfare Board.