Himachal goes soft on UP to settle power bill dues

Shimla: Finding it hard to recover power arrears from Bhakra Beas Management Board (BBMB) even after having won a case in the Supreme Court, cash strapped Himachal cabinet softened its stance over recovering power sale dues from Uttar Pradesh, after agreeing to revised payment terms

The cabinet has approved to accept a proposal of the Uttar Pradesh government for payment of Rs 157 crore against power sold to them with late payment surcharge payable at the rate of 6 % on the principal amount, stated a cabinet spokesman on Saturday. The state has urging UP to pay up its dues (about Rs 200 Cr) for the power sold during the term of the Mayawati government but till date has only made partial recoveries. Power

The state government plans of meeting budgetary expenditure by relying upon BBMB arrears that have been awarded by a Supreme Court order about Himachal Pradesh’s justified share in the mega project have come unstuck as both Punjab and Haryana have made counter claims, denying the hill state any monetary benefit.

Presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the cabinet did grant approval to regularize admissions in various courses B.Tech (including Bio-Tech., Food-Tech. and Bio-Info.), M.Tech., B-Pharma, M.Pharma and MBA and Diploma courses made by various private universities, colleges and polytechnics.

The approval has been given as a onetime measure for the larger interest of students and parents, said the spokesman. The norms have been relaxed subject to imposition of penalty under relevant provisions of law by respective regulatory bodies and admission done till 15th August in accordance with the minimum educational qualification prescribed by the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) and concerned regulatory bodies, he added.

Backing tracking on the stiff increase in bus fares, the cabinet decided to reduce the minimum bus fare from Rs 5 to Rs 3 for a minimum travelling distance of 3 Kms. The decision has been taken in public interest, said the spokesman.

After much delay and relaxing the norms for the bidding companies, the cabinet accorded approval for the award of balance work of widening and strengthening of World Bank funded Theog-Kotkhai-Hatkoti-Rohru road project in Shimla district.

Cabinet gave approval for amendment in development plan for Dharamshala planning area by designating the Director, Town and Country Planning as the competent authority for permitting change of land use for restricted and other areas of the development plan for Dharamshala planning Area.

The cabinet also approved institution of Himachal Pradesh Mahila Vikas Protsahan Yojana-2013. Under the scheme, bonafide Himachali women aged above 18 years of age will get cash prize of Rs. 21,000 alongwith a citation for making outstanding contributions in the field of Health, Education, Sports, Social Service and Art & Culture.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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