Saturday, November 2, 2002, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

HP grants OBC status to Sainis, Jats
Tribune News Service

Shimla, November 1
The Jats have finally been granted the status of Other Backward Class in Himachal Pradesh.

The state Cabinet, which met under the chairmanship of P.K. Dhumal, Chief Minister, here last evening, approved the recommendations of the Commission for Backward Classes for the inclusion of Saini, Choharakas and Jat communities in the state list of Other Backward Classes.

It also approved the proposal of the Forest Department clubbing felling of trees with the working plan prescriptions to ensure that regeneration of forests is commensurate with the felling in accordance with the Supreme Court orders. The state, in addition to regeneration of forests and increase of forest cover, would start receiving a net income of Rs 11.52 crore in the second year which would increase to Rs 72.11 crore by the fifth year.

The Cabinet accepted the recommendation of the Second State Finance Commission regarding allocation of Rs 159.43 crore to urban local bodies in the state. This is almost double the amount made by the First Finance Commission. It also approved the recommendations of the commission for the grant of Rs 70.04 crore to panchayati raj institutions as against Rs 13.87 crore given by the first commission.

The Cabinet gave approval the tripartite agreement involving the Himachal Government, Biosys, UK, and the Centre for Advancement of Sustainable Agriculture and Promoting Bio-business for entrepreneurship development and employment generation. This agreement will help the state seek business tie-ups in the international market for the bio-tech based processed products produced in Himachal Pradesh. These organisations will also help in the import of quality planting stock of medicinal and aromatic plants. There is also a proposal to create an “indoor biodiversity valley” containing entire plant diversity of the region of the state.

The “Gramin Parivahan Swarojgar Yojna” under which 1043 routes have been identified for giving permit for plying maxi cabs was also cleared. There will be total exemption in road tax on kutcha routes for five years or till the routes are metalled.

It also approved grant of land up to five bishwas to houseless families belonging to the Integrated Rural Development Programme (IRDP), below poverty line (BPL), Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), ex-servicemen and handicapped persons for the construction of houses under the Nautor Rules, 1968.

The agreement signed by the Technical Education Department with the World Bank for obtaining assistance of Rs 50 crore for the improvement of technical education in the state under the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme of the Government of India was approved. Under the five-year project, all polytechnic colleges in the state will be upgraded and strengthened by way of introducing new courses, upgradation of existing courses and providing latest equipment. Himachal Pradesh is one of the six states selected for this project.

It also decided to extend the continuing education programme (CE) to the whole state. It will consolidate the gains of the literacy programme which was highly successful in this state. The programme will be fully the funded by the Centre in the first three years.


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