Shimla: The Himachal cabinet increased the low income level, announced an increased in rates for market intervention scheme (MIS) for fruits, exempted luxury tax on hotels set up in rural areas, decided to adopt a uniform policy for leasing government land for hydro projects and gave it nod for premature release of 15 prisoners in state jails.
Presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the cabinet approved 2014-15 MIS scheme for mangoes by deciding to increase procurement rates from Rs 5.50 to Rs 6.50 per Kg. It also approved setting of 30 centers for procuring the MIS fruit.
Approval was given to get approved the HP Tax on Luxuries (in Hotels and Lodging Houses) Amendment Bill so as to exempt new hotels in rural areas from payment of luxury tax under for a period of ten years after the hotel becomes functional.
Leaving the private citizen to fend for himself, the cabinet fixed transport rates for supply of cement to government and semi-government departments at Rs 7.75 per KM per ton.
As a onetime settlement, the cabinet decided to adopt a uniform policy for approving lease of land to hydropower project, both that were under construction or those that had been commissioned.
Approval was given for transfer of government land to Geological Survey of India for construction of Training Institute Complex at Shiwalik Fossil Park Saketi in Sirmaur.
The cabinet decided to declare the 9705.033 tons of apples that HPMC collected on behalf of the governments in 2013 under the MIS scheme as free of costs. HPMC had used the procured fruit for extracting juice.
A 2 MW small hydro project in Chamba district was restored to Gehra Hydel Power company, elevations of Nugal, Sup, Dogar, Chho, Shahtul, Kattan, Maila, Dheera, Balota and Dheera-Balota-I, Pharari and Dukren hydro power projects of less than 5 MW capacity were permitted to be changes so as to enhance their capacity and approval was given for signing power purchase agreement with SJVN by the cabinet.
Responding to mercy petitions by prisoners, the cabinet approve release of 15 jail inmates lodged in various prisons of the state.
The cabinet approved to enhance the income limit of low income groups to Rs 35,000 from Rs. 12,000 per annum for producing the income certificate towards new appointments.
Approval was given to regularize service of 3300 contractual employees, who had completed 6 years of service by 31 March, 2014. Cabinet also decided to regularize services of about 5000 daily waged or contingent paid workers who had completed 7 years of service in their capacity.
About 3000 thousand part time workers who had served 8 years in such a job till 31 March, 2014 were upgraded to daily wage workers.