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Farmers to pay more for power
Tribune News Service

Shimla, October 23
The Himachal government today hiked electricity duty by three paise per unit for various categories of consumers with immediate effect. Domestic consumers have been spared.

The decision was taken at the meeting of the state Cabinet headed by Mr Virbhadra Singh, here today.

Mr Arvind Kaul, Himachal Chief Secretary, said that the electricity duty for commercial and agricultural consumers had been increased from 15 paise to 18 paise per unit and industrial consumers from 22 paise to 25 paise per unit. Electricity duty for domestic consumers would continue to be charged at the rate of 6 paise per unit. The hike would fetch an additional revenue of Rs 5 crore every year.

By another decision the rules of State Subordinate Services Selection Board, under which records pertaining to recruitments were destroyed after just three months, were amended. According to amended rules no record would be destroyed before the expiring of five years. While some of the records would not be destroyed at all and some other would be retained for at least 10 years.

To a question Mr Kaul Singh said that the rules under which entire record was destroyed in three months did not exist anywhere in the country.

The Cabinet also approved to restructure the Horticulture Department under which every district office would be headed by a Deputy Director. He said the restructuring would be effected by reorganising the existing staff and only one post would be upgraded to the level of Deputy Director. Some posts of Senior Subject Specialist would be redesignated as Deputy Director.

The Cabinet authorised the state infrastructure development board to raise non-SLR loans of Rs 1084 crore and also raised the limit of government guarantee for raising loans by the state Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Development Corporation from Rs 8 crore to Rs 17 crore.

It also approved to promote Mr Rajeev Sharma as senior instructor in the state Mountaineering Institute in recognition of his feat in scaling the Mount Everest.

The Cabinet also approved the creation of 33 posts for newly upgraded schools in Kangra, Bilaspur and Shimla districts.

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