Himachal celebrates 64th Foundation Day

CM announces 6% DA, 25K new social security pensions

CM takes salute

Shimla: Announcing release of DA for employees and pensioners Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on 64th Himachal Day sought to appease the weaker sections by extending the social pension network to another 25,000 people and laying bare government plans to uplift the poor especially those among scheduled caste and scheduled tribes.

At the state level function held at Thanakalan in Una district, Dhumal said that 6 % of DA due from January was being released for employees and pensioners. While employees would get cash payment only for the month of April and the rest would be credited into General Provident Fund (GPF) accounts, pensioners would get it in cash, he said.

Starting out on 15th April, 1948 after merger of 30 princely states, Himachal in 63 years had gained to become the ‘best state’ for overall performance in education, health, women empowerment and employment generation in nationwide survey conducted by independent agencies, he said.

Emphasizing the priority given to social sector, he said that 30% of the plan budget was earmarked for it, social security pensions had been enhanced from Rs 200 to 330 and besides adding 79,000 new pensioners the scheme would be extended to another 25,000 eligible persons.

Speaking about the new ‘Mukhaya Mantri Adarsh Gram Yojna’ program, Dhumal said that two villages in each assembly with over 40% population of scheduled caste people would be adopted and developed into model villages by ensuring basic amenities like road, water, sanitation and street lighting.

The scheduled caste sub-plan component had been enhanced from 11% to 25% and had Rs 816 Cr funds marked for the financial year. A 50% subsidy would be provided for LPG connections and stoves to SC women, he said.

Under a housing scheme for the poor, 25,000 under Atal Awas Yojna had been constructed in 3 years and work was in progress to construct another 6,363 houses. An amount of Rs 18 crore had been kept for constructing 3715 in the current year, said the chief minister.

By marking 12% of the budget for agriculture, the government had given the sector high priority, he said.
The government was committed towards working for it motto of ‘Swarozgar, Swabilamaban and Swabhiman’ by laying emphasis on generating more resources, said Dhumal.

Earlier the chief minister unfurled the national flag and took salute at an impressive march past commanded by police officer Amit Sharma.

Chief parliamentary secretaries, Satpal Satti, Virender Kanwar and Balbir Chaudhary, chief secretary Rajwant Sandhu and DGP Daljit Manhas among other dignitaries were also present on the occasion.

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