Shimla: Burying the controversy over allotment of a 15 MW hydropower project, the cabinet today decided to hand it over to HP State Electricity Board for execution.
The explanation offered by a spokesman was that Sai Kothi – II had already been allotted to HPSEB. The new allotment was being made ‘so that both the schemes are implemented simultaneously in an optimal manner in the best interest of the state.
Allotment of the project to a Hyderabad based private company had raised allegations of favourtism as former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal and his son Arun Dhumal had publicly disclosed that Virbhadra Singh and his family had financial dealing with directors of the private power developing company.
The cabinet also reversing a decision of the earlier government by abolishing 10 van thanas that were set up to contain timber smuggling.
It also gave approval for amendment in H.P Tenancy and Land Reforms Rules, 1975 for plots in industrial areas/estates developed by the industrial department/State Industrial Development Corporation (SIDC).
Without increasing the retirement age the cabinet decided to provide a years extension in service, from 58 to 59 years, to all government employees ‘subject to satisfaction of the state government.’
Presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh the cabinet also approved a stray cattle policy to tackle the problem in the state.
College cadre lecturers appointed on contract basis between 1997 to 2002 are to be regularized from 1 June, 2014.
A mounting subsidy bill on special subsidized scheme for food rations in the state forced the cabinet to limit it to Rs 20 per Kg for pulses and Rs 10 per liter for edible oil. Other than the central food subsidy schemes, the state has a scheme of its own for all ration card holders.
The cabinet also accorded approval to the food department for ensuring uniformity in per capita allotment of wheat flour across the state.
Approval was given for amendments in the Rules for allotment of plots to the Bhakra Dam Oustees in New Bilaspur Township.
Approval was granted for filling up 100 posts of agricultural extension officers this fiscal and another 50 in the next one
Revised policy guidelines that are in consonance with the environment protection laws for setting up stone crushers was approved.
The cabinet granted permission for construction of a multi crore investment integrated parking, interpretation centre and tourist amenities complex in Chintpurni special area of Una district.