Addressing a well attended gathering on the occasion of district level ‘Makar Sakranti Mela’ at Tattapani today, Chief Minister, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that amongst the few decision taken, after the formation of congress government in the state, the very first was to bring the Chief Minister, Ministers and MLA at par with the general public when it comes to the payment of rent for their stay in Himachal Bhawan, Himachal Sadan and other circuit houses of the state.
Including the Chief Minister, the Ministers and MLAs would also now have to pay Rs. 1200 instead of Rs. 200 for their stay in Himachal Bhawan, Himachal Sadan and Circuit houses in the state.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu assured that the State Government was committed to ensure the welfare of needy children, especially orphans, destitute women and senior citizens. He said that on the very first day after taking oath as the Chief Minister, he visited the Girl Child Care Institute, (Balika Ashram) Tutikandi, in Shimla, and observed that a lot more was to be done for destitute children, women and senior citizens. He said that the government has decided to provide festival grant of Rs. 500 to the residents of Child Care Institutions, Nari Seva Sadan, Shakti Sadan and Old Age Homes to celebrate the festivals.
Chief Minister stated that the state government has decided to set up Chief Minister’s ‘Sukhashray Sahayata Kosh’ with an outlay of Rs. 101 crore so that the facility of higher education could be provided to needy children and destitute women out of this fund. The state government will bear the expenditure on skill development education, higher education and vocational training of such children, he said, adding that he has contributed his one month salary towards this fund and other Congress MLAs have also agreed to contribute their one month salary towards the kosh.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that in it’s first Cabinet, the State Government announced to implement Old Pension Scheme from the point of view of social security and humanity. He said that this decision of the State Government would benefit over 1.36 lakh NPS employees of the State.
Chief Minister said that during the tenure of the previous BJP Government, the paper leak scam was at its peak.
The congress Government, soon after coming to power, cracked paper leak scam which was going unabated in the Staff Selection Commission Hamirpur for over quite some period and nabbed the main accused. He said that the State Government immediately suspended the functioning of the Commission. He assured the youth that the Government would ensure transparent and fair opportunities to them to get employment.
Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said that a Cabinet Sub Committee has been constituted for finalizing the roadmap for implementation of the promises made by the Congress Party during the elections for creating one lakh employment opportunities in the State. He said that the State Government would purchase 10 litre cow milk per day at the rate of Rs. 80 per litre and 10 litre buffalo milk per day at the rate of Rs. 100 per litre. This will provide gainful employment to the youth and motivate them to adopt farming practices on large scale
Chief Minister slammed the previous BJP Government for leaving the state in heavy debt trap of over Rs. 75000 crore due to their financial mismanagement and wasteful expenditure. The State has inherited financial liabilities of Rs. 4430 crore as salary arrears to its employees and Rs. 5226 crore as liabilities of pensioners as their pension arrears. He said that at present there were liabilities of about Rs. 1000 crore as DA of employees and pensioners on the present State Government, which the previous BJP government have left. In this way the previous State Government has left total financial burden of about Rs. 11,000 crore on the State exchequer, he added.
The people of the State rejected the BJP as they knew that the ‘double engine Sarkaar’ has completely failed on all fronts.
The NPS Employees of Mandi district also felicitated the Chief Minister for announcing OPS for them.
Block Congress President Prithvi Sen Negi while welcoming the Chief Minister said that it was a matter of pride for the people of Karsog area that Chief Minister has visited this historic place after announcing OPS for the NPS employees. He said that Sukhvinder Sing Sukhu is a visionary and charismatic leader who knows how to take such landmark decisions.
Vice Chairman Mela Committee Virender Kapil welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion. He also urged the Chief Minister to develop the area from tourism point of view.
A colourful cultural programme was also presented on the occasion.
Principal Advisor (Media) to the Chief Minister Naresh Chauhan, Congress Candidate in 2022 Vidhan sabha elections from Karsog Mahesh Raj, OSD to the Chief Minister Gopal Sharma, former MLA Satpal Raizada, Deputy Commissioner Mandi Arindam Chaudhary, Superintendent of Police Mandi Shalini Agnihotri were present on the occasion among others.