Dharamshala: Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu while addressing a huge public meeting during “Vyavastha Parivartan ka Ek Saal”, a state level function organized on the completion of one year’s tenure of the present state government at Dharamshala in district Kangra today announced to give Rs. 1,500 from January, 2024 to all the women of district Lahaul-Spiti who were over 18 years of age. He said that the promise made to all the women of the state would also be met in a phased manner. He announced that the women who currently get Rs. 1,100 as pension will also be provided Rs. 1500. He announced that the state government will bear the expenses for higher education of children of widows from the next fiscal.

The Chief Minister also announced the increase in the purchase price of milk by Rs. Six and stated that the government will start the cow dung purchase scheme from January, 2024. He said that this decision will prove to be a milestone in the direction of prosperity of the farmers.

“The state government was earnestly working for the welfare of the common man, where women, youth, all sections of the society, including farmers and employees, were getting due respect,” said Sh. Sukhu. Congratulating the people of the state on completion of one year of the state government he said that many historic decisions have been taken for the bright future of the youth. The recruitment process of JOA (IT) remained stalled during the tenure of the previous BJP government, but it was result of concerted efforts of the present government that decision was made in favour of the youth of the state, he said and added that the results of post codes 817 and 939 would be declared soon. The government would provide 20 thousand employment opportunities in the government sector very soon, including Van Mitra, Patwari, Multi Task Worker, education, Police and other departments, he said. This number was more than that were given in the entire tenure of the previous BJP government, he added.

The present state government was focused towards changing the system and has taken many decisions in this regard, said the Chief Minister. “In one year, our government has laid the strong foundation for making Himachal self-reliant and by the year 2027, Himachal will become an ideal example of a self-reliant state. Our dedicated and continuous efforts would ensure that Himachal becomes one of the most prosperous states of India by the year 2032,” He reiterated and added that the government’s revenue has increased by Rs. 500 crore from the auction of liquor contracts.

“I am a dedicated party worker and no member of my family was in politics, but the Congress Party, considering the penance of forty years, put its trust on him and handed over the responsibility to serve the people of the state” he said.

The Chief Minister stated: “After I took over the charge of the Chief Minister of Himachal, I decided that we should not work like a routine government does. My aim was that our policies and programmes benefit the last person standing in the queue. In the last one year, our government has taken many steps to reduce the gap between the common man and the special man.”

He said that three guarantees have been fulfilled in the first one year of the government. Without considering any political gain, in the very first cabinet meeting, the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) was implemented so that the life after retirement of the employees could be secured. Along with this, e-taxi scheme has been started under the first phase of Rajiv Gandhi Self-Employment Start-up Scheme of Rs 680 crore. Under the scheme, the state government was providing a 50 percent subsidy to the youth for the purchase of e-taxi and they will also be ensured fixed income. He further stated that English medium will be introduced in all government institutions from the next session. He added that in the next fiscal the government will bring schemes related to the common man, farmers and youth. He said that the present government is a sensitive government, which understands the sentiments of the people.

The Chief Minister said that during the tenure of the previous BJP government, question papers leak in the Staff Selection Commission (SSC) was a common phenomenon. In order to end corruption and in the interest of the youth, the government has decided to dissolve the SSC. He added that the previous BJP government took a huge loan of Rs. 14,000 crore in its last year with the intention of winning the elections. The consequences of huge debt were passed on to the present government. Apart from dealing with the situation, the government also decided to inform the people about the poor economic condition of the state. For this, a committee was formed under the leadership of the Deputy Chief Minister and a white paper was brought on the state’s finances.

The state government adopted 4,000 orphans as ‘Children of the State’, made the country’s first law for their welfare and started ‘Mukhyamantri Sukhashraya Yojana’. Under the scheme, the state government is providing proper assistance for the care and higher education till they attain the age of 27 years, Sh. Sukhu said.

The state has faced the biggest disaster in history during the monsoon. The government brought a resolution in the Assembly to declare the disaster in Himachal as a national disaster, but the BJP did not stand with the affected and did not support the state government’s resolution in the Assembly, remarked the Chief Minister. No special package has been received from the Central Government yet. Despite this, with its limited resources, the State Government announced a special package of Rs. 4,500 crore, so that the affected people can get relief by claiming adequate assistance. They were providing free electricity, water connections and gas cylinders besides cement bags at government rates for construction of homes. Along with this, Rs. 5,000 is being given as rent in rural areas and Rs. 10,000 is being given as rent in urban areas. He said that even the BJP MPs also did not advocate the interests of Himachal Pradesh before the central leadership, which shows their indifference towards the people of the state.

On this occasion, the Chief Minister also released a Coffee Table Book, 365 days 365 decisions book, e-book and a magazine based on the achievements of the present state government in one year prepared by the Information and Public Relations department. These publications are available at the department’s website.

During the program, the Chief Minister distributed benefits amounting to Rs 13.58 crore as the first installment to 581 affected families of Kangra district affected by the disaster. On behalf of Damtal Temple Trust, a cheque of Rs 1 crore was given to the Chief Minister as Disaster Relief Fund-2023.

Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said that the one year tenure of the state government has been full of achievements, but the BJP is protesting against the people-friendly decisions taken by the government, which is unfortunate. He said that there was a stable government in the state, which will serve the people for five years. He said that when the Congress government was formed last year, it got liabilities of Rs. 92,000 crores from the BJP government, of which Rs 12,000 crores were liabilities of the employees. He said that fulfilling all the guarantees was the duty of the present government, which will be fulfilled under any circumstances. He said: “The BJP clearly refused to provide OPS, but our government reinstated the scheme for its employees, securing their future. He said that during the tenure of the previous government, there was a scam in every recruitment, whereas today the government is working with complete transparency. He said that BJP leaders from Himachal have forgotten their defeat in the last year assembly elections and are trying to find solace by celebrating election victory in other states. He said that once again BJP will have to face defeat in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Himachal Pradesh Congress in-charge and MP Rajeev Shukla, while praising the work of the present government, said that the Chief Minister worked round the clock and was busy serving the public throughout the year. He added that during the disaster, the Chief Minister stayed awake at night and helped the people. He said that the OPS has been restored benefitting over 1.5 lakh employees of the state and each guarantee would be fulfilled in the coming time. The state government has started Rs 680 crore Rajiv Gandhi Swarojgar start-up scheme for the youth, said Sh. Shukla and added that the previous BJP government left a huge burden in the shape of debt, even though in the coming times, the Congress government would surely make Himachal self-reliant and the most prosperous state of the country.

Congress President and MP Pratibha Singh said that during its one year tenure, the present government has started many programs for the welfare of every section of the society ensuring their social and economic upliftment. She thanked the present government for restoring OPS and said that the Chief Minister did a commendable job amid the unprecedented disaster in the state. Mandi parliamentary constituency was the most affected but the state government took immediate steps and provided relief to the affected. She said that she appealed to all the MPs to meet the Prime Minister for special financial assistance to Himachal in the disaster, but the BJP MPs did not show any interest. The Chief Minister generously helped the affected families, for which the state government deserves appreciation. She said that the promises made to women and all the guarantees would be fulfilled in the times to come.

Speaker, HP Vidhan Sabha, Kuldeep Singh Pathania said that the first Chief Minister of the state, Dr. Y.S. Parmar is known as “Himachal Nirmata”, while Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has earned special recognition by taking historic decisions during his one year tenure. He said that the Chief Minister has done unprecedented work in the field of social security, which has sent a positive message among the masses. Thanking him for a special package of Rs 4500 crore to the affected families, he said that the compensation amount has been increased manifold. Despite the difficult economic conditions of the state, full assistance has been provided to the affected.

Congratulating everyone on the completion of one year tenure of the state government, local MLA Sudhir Sharma said that Chief Minister Thakur Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu has resolved to Vyavastha Parivartan and has taken many steps for the welfare of the people in adverse circumstances which were historic. The state government has given the status of tourism capital to Kangra and the people of the district are standing firmly with the state government, he added and thanked the Chief Minister for having a new vision for Kangra district. Agriculture Minister Chaudhary Chandra Kumar presented the vote of thanks.

Mini Himachal in Dharamshala

On the occasion of completion of one year tenure of the state government, a glimpse of mini Himachal was seen in Dharamshala. Artists from different districts showcased their rich culture. The Chief Minister honored Himachal Pradesh Congress in-charge Rajiv Shukla by presenting him a Kangra painting, a shawl and cap.

Earlier, floral tributes were offered at War Memorial Dharamshala and a road show was also carried out on foot from Trends Mall enroute to the venue. A large number of people participated in the road show wearing traditional clothes of their respective districts. On this occasion, Congress co-in-charge Tejendra Bittu, all ministers, MLAs, former ministers and chairmen and vice-chairmen of various boards and corporations and other dignitaries were present.

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