|H I M A C H A L
P R A D E S H
Wednesday, January 13, 1999
HP ministers under watch
district media conveners named
Bank staff go on strike
HP ministers under watch
SHIMLA, Jan 12 The Himachal Chief Minister, Mr P.K. Dhumal, has started focussing his attention on the conduct and performance of state ministers.
"The ministers are under a close watch and anything can happen in the days to come" an insider told Tribune News Service on condition of anonymity.
It is understood that the Chief Minister is under a tremendous pressure due to the casual attitude of some of his colleagues, their inept handing of departments and failure to project the image of the government.
Besides, some of the ministers have incurred the wrath of the cadres for not cooperating with them and obliging and patronising their opponents, including Congress supporters.
Most of the ministers have not been able to take up various issues with the Central Government and the task of pursuing the matters at the Centre, satisfying partymen, handling the bureaucracy and maintaining a rapport with people has been left to Mr Dhumal.
There have also been complaints regarding the functioning of some of the ministers. The Chief Minister is also concerned about the dismal performance of certain ministers.
Apart from the feedback from the rank and file and the Sangh Parivar, Mr Dhumal will also take into account reports of state and central agencies.
Once the exercise is over, the Chief Minister might go in for a major cabinet reshuffle. While certain ministers may be dropped and new inducted, the portfolios of others may be changed, party sources say.
Of late, Mr Dhumal has started asserting his authority. Taking a cue from the Prime Minister, he recently replaced the Chief Secretary.
In a bid to discipline the ministers, he has fixed the number of days when they will have to remain in office at the state Capital and meet people and legislators.
Apparently, the decision was taken in the wake of complaints from partymen that ministers mostly remained on tours. They were neither available to workers nor were they taking any serious interest in official work which, they felt, harmed the image of the government.
No guard of honour for HP
SHIMLA, Jan 12 The Himachal Cabinet at a meeting here today decided to do away with the practice of according a guard of honour to ministers during tours.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Industry Minister Kishori Lal said only the Governor, the Chief Minister, the Speaker and the Chief Justice would be given the ceremonial guard of honour.
He said the decision was taken with a view to reducing burden on the police.
The Cabinet increased the maximum age limit for the state administrative services examination from 31 years to 34 years for the general category and from 40 years to 42 years for reserved categories. While the number of chances were also increased from four to six for the general category, the restriction was waived in case of candidates for the reserved categories who could appear in the examination any number of times.
It also decided to accord class II status to lecturers and headmasters of high school. The monthly emoluments were enhanced from Rs 2000 to Rs 5000 for voluntary school lecturers, from Rs 1700 to Rs 4000 for voluntary trained graduate teachers, from Rs 1700 to Rs 3500 for voluntary classical and vernacular teachers and from Rs 1200 to Rs 2500 for untrained voluntary teachers.
The Cabinet created 1700 posts of vidya upasak who would be paid Rs 2500 per month.
The ex-gratia for Army personnel who died while on duty was increased in case of officers from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000, for JCOs from Rs 6000 to Rs 15,000 and for other ranks from Rs 4000 to Rs 10,000.
Pension for ex-servicemen of World War II was enhanced from Rs 100 to Rs 150.
The Cabinet granted approval to D.A.V. Dental College, Solan, to start classes from the ensuing academic session. The decision was taken in view of the permission granted by the Dental Council of India and the Government of India to this effect.
The meeting also decided to set up a subcommittee for granting more administrative and financial powers to Panchayati Raj institutions.
The committee to be headed by Mr Kishori Lal, Industry Minister, would have Mr Mohinder Singh, Mr Ramesh Chaudhary, Mr Vidya Sagar and Mr R.L. Markanda as members.
The Cabinet approved the Mahila Mandal Protsahan Yozna and the Vivekananda Yuva Mandal Protsahan Yozna to grant incentives for involving women and youths in the implementation of various programmes like family welfare and education.
It also approved the raising of Rs 1.71 crore as loan from HUDCO to help fire victims of Chamba. A Rs 13.2 crore German-aided project to strengthen the family welfare programme in five districts Kangra, Bilaspur, Chamba, Kulu and Shimla was also cleared.
The afforestation scheme under the Sanjhi Van Yozna was amended to facilitate the allocation of 40 per cent funds for community works. Hitherto, the entire amount was spent on afforestation.
Bank staff go on strike
HAMIRPUR, Jan 12 Banking activities remained suspended throughout this district today as bank officers and employees resorted to a one-day token strike in support of their various demands, including a 20 per cent increase in wages.
The employees held a rally at Gandhi Chowk. Mr R.L. Chauhan and Mr D.S. Guleria, Convener, and President, respectively, of the United Forum of Bank Unions, criticised the government for not accepting their demands. They said if the government failed to accept their demands, they would go on an indefinite strike.
They also took out a procession through various parts of the town and raised slogans against the Central Government.
KULU: Bank employees observed a day-long strike on Tuesday as part of a nationwide strike by bank staff.
The banks at the district headquarters, Bhuntar, and other parts of the district, including Manali wore a deserted look.
The employees of Kangra Central Cooperative Bank and United Commercial Bank, however, stayed away from the strike.
BJP district media conveners named
SHIMLA, Jan 12 (PTI) Mr Ganesh Dutt, convener of the media cell of the Himachal BJP, has announced the appointment of key office-bearers and district conveners to strengthen the rapport between the party and the media at various levels. Mr Amba Charan will be the general secretary of the cell while Mr Rajendra Sharma and Mr A.N. Walia will be state vice-presidents.
Mr Yuvraj Faquiroo, Mr
Ashwani Sharma and Mr Shiv Singh Jaswal will be the
secretaries while Mr S.S. Chuhan (Solan), Mr Rasil Singh
Mankotia (Hamirpur), Mr Roop Lal Jambwal (Mandi), Mr
Sanjay Sharma (Kangra), Mr Ashwani Dogra (Bilaspur), Mr
Shyam Kulvi (Kulu), Mr Madhu Sharma (Chamba), Mr Puran
Chand Sharma (Una) and Mr Mohan Lal (Lahaul and Spiti)
will be conveners of their respective districts, a BJP
press note said here.
Sharda takes over as HPU V-C
SHIMLA, Jan 12 (PTI) Dr N.K. Sharda, Pro Vice-Chancellor of Himachal Pradesh University, has taken over as Vice-Chancellor following the expiry of the term of Prof C.L. Kundu as Vice-Chancellor.
The process for the
selection of the Vice-Chancellor is on and the search
committee appointed for recommending a panel of three
names will meet tomorrow. The committee, which met on
December 23 last year, could not recommend a unanimous
panel and the issue was, therefore deferred for the next
Cong: refer probe to Lokayukta
JAWALAMUKHI, Jan 12 The local Block Congress Committee (BCC) at its meeting today took strong exception to the state government for ordering a CBI probe against former Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh. The committee said all charges levelled against Mr Virbhadra Singh were false and politically motivated.
The BCC said if the state government was so sincere, it should refer the inquiry to the Lokayukta.
The meeting was held here under the Chairmanship of Mr Inder Mohan Walia. The committee also expressed concern over the increase in thefts and victimisation of employees through transfers to remote areas.
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