With the Governor’s address, the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly commenced the budget session for 25 days smoothly today giving tributes to the demised member of assembly Mr. Desh Raj and the four martyrs of Pathankot airbase attack and Pampore terror attack recently.
The State Governor Mr. Acharya Dev Vrat emphasized on the various development works and policy of Himachal Pradesh Government in 45 minutes long speech stressing upon 80 points.
“It is a matter of pride that women now constitute almost 58 percent of the total panchayati raj institutions representatives in the State,” the Governor said in his customary address on the 1st day of the Assembly Session.
Congratulating the people for their overwhelming participation in the just concluded grassroots elections, he said the Himachal Government has been working towards ensuring a balanced development of the State.
Tourism, horticulture and hydro-power are major contributors to Himachal Pradesh’s economic development. The Governor said that to overcome the shortage of teaching faculty in the medical colleges, the Government has decided to increase the retirement age of the faculty from 62 to 65 years.
He said under the National Food Security Act 2013 about 3,81,918 metric tonne of food grains were distributed among 18,27,900 ration cards holders till December 31 last year.
To promote horticulture and floriculture in this fiscal around 3,000-hectares additional area would be brought under different fruit crops, besides 800 hectares under floriculture. Special emphasis has been given on protected cultivation of high-value flowers and vegetables by bringing 69,198 sq mt area under greenhouses or shade net houses.
For tapping the state’s hydropower potential 10,264 Mega Watts has been harnessed, he said. Also the revenue from the sale of free and equity power amounting to Rs.1,009 crore has been realised till last December.
He said the tourist arrival to the State increased from 163.14 lakh tourists in 2014 to 177.80 lakh tourists in 2015, an increase of 8.98 percent over the preceding year.
More than a month-long Assembly Session will have 25 sittings and conclude on April 7. Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh will present the budget on March 8 and after the discussion it will be passed on March 31.
The supplementary budget will be presented and passed on February 29. There will be a week-long recess from March 19 to March 27.