I-Day gift: 4 pc DA hike for govt employees, pensioner in HP

Shimla, Aug 15  Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today announced four per cent additional Dearness Allowance (DA) to the government employees and pensioners, from January and to be paid in October. Presiding over a state-level Independence Day function at Rampur, about 132 km from here, Singh said that we salute the freedom fighters and countrymen who laid their lives for attaining the hard-earned independence. Highlighting the achievements, he said unemployment was the biggest issue when his government came to power Fulfilling its poll promise, the Congress government announced an unemployment allowance of Rs 1,000 per month to those unemployed youth whose educational qualification 10+2 or above, he said, adding that youth with disability were being given an unemployment allowance of Rs 1,500 per month. He further said that emoluments of employees on contract have been enhanced from 50 per cent to 75 per cent of grade pay and wages of daily labourers have been increased from Rs 150 to Rs 210, besides many other benefits to employees and pensioners. "We have established 'Kaushal Vikas Nigam' to implement Rs 640 crore the ADB-assisted Skill Development Project," the Chief Minister said, adding that as many as 31,991 youths have been provided employment in the private sector companies and around 63,000 in public sector units. An almost equal number of employment avenues were generated in the private sector, he added. The chief minister said that the government had announced the regularisation of employees on contract after three years of the service. During the last four-and-a-half years, he said that?2,314 kilometre of new roads and 215 bridges have been constructed and road connectivity were provided to 864 villages. As of now, around 3,140 panchayats out of a total 3,226 have been connected with motorable roads and the work was in progress in the remaining panchayats. "With this, the total length of roads in the state was now around 37,000 kilometre," said Singh. On the education sector, the chief minister said that Himachal Pradesh was becoming an "education hub" of the country as new colleges have been opened. With the opening of 50 new colleges and taking over of six colleges by the state government, he said the total number of colleges in Himachal Pradesh has gone up to 128. "About 900 posts in different categories have been created for smooth functioning of these newly opened colleges," he said, adding over 230 new health institutions have been opened in the state. Earlier, the chief minister hoisted the national flag and took salute from the march-past by contingents of Police, Home-guards, NCC, scouts and guides and NSS cadets including school children. The parade was led by parade commander Monika Bhatungru (IPS) from Lahaul in Himachal. A cultural performance was presented on the occasion. He also gave away prizes to the participants of culture performances and others. Irrigation and Public Health Minister Vidya Stokes, Chief Parliamentary Secretary Nand Lal, MLA Rohru Mohan Lal Brakta were also present on the occasion amongst Civil and police officers besides others.
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