The Himachal Pradesh Council of ministers today accorded the approval for enhancement of honorarium of Jal Rakshaks (Water Guards) engaged through Panchayati Raj Institutions (PRIs) from Rs. 1350 to Rs. 1500 per month. As many as 2220 Jal Rakshaks would be benefited from this decision with an outgo of Rs. 8.50 crores annually from the state ex-chequer.
The meeting chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh also decided to make amendments in Hydro power Policy 2006 in respect to transfer of shares by Himachalis to Non-Himachalis. The Himachalis could sell or transfer 49 percent equity shares to Non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects up to 2 MW capacity and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects.
Similarly in case of bonafide Himachalis to whom projects up to 2 MW to 5 MW capacity are allotted, they can sell/transfer 51 percent equity share to Non-Himachalis at any stage after allotment of projects and full disinvestment after two years of commissioning of the projects. However subjected to the condition (in both the above cases) it was decided to levy some appropriate fee for the transfer of equity.
Besides the Cabinet gave its nod to cancel four projects namely Joiner-II (3MW) in district Chamba, Kanda (0.80 MW) in district Sirmaur, Rawin (1 MW) in Shimla district and Chahod (2 MW) in district Mandi. The Cabinet also accorded approval to 100 units of free electricity per month to the families affected by Hydel projects in the State as per the subsidized tariff determined by Himachal Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission (HPERC) from time to time with respect to Local Area Development Committees of the districts and the balance amount equivalent to the quantum of subsidy with the state government. This shall be done once in a year since the tariff is determined by HPERC.
It was also decided to provide 35 kilograms of ration to the Above Poverty Line (APL) families in Tribal areas of the State. A decision was taken to provide all three pulses to all the ration card holders irrespective of the number of units on the cards/scale as fixed by the State Government.