Jai ram’s Development Paradigm
At the time of formation of the state, there was a huge scarcity of basic facilities in Himachal Pradesh. Due to its difficult geographical conditions and lack of resources, it was a big challenge to take the state forward on the path of development. Basic facilities like drinking water, electricity, roads, educational and health institutions were almost negligible. Despite all odds, the hardworking and honest people of the state played a pivotal role in making Himachal Pradesh a developed and prosperous state.
After its formation, Himachal Pradesh has made rapid progressive strides and today stands as a model of development amongst big states of the country.
On 27 December 2017, present state government was formed for the betterment of the state and its people. The state government not only fulfilled the promises made to the people by adopting BJP’s election manifesto as the policy document but many welfare schemes and developmental programmes were launched to benefit every section of the society.
The government is focused on bringing positive changes in the lives of the people and ensuring rapid and balanced development of the state. Himachal also faced hard times due to Corona pandemic but with the wholehearted support of the people, we were able to control the situation and simultaneously ensured to maintain the pace of development. The State Government is making every effort to ensure transparent and accountable governance.
The senior citizens play a vital role in the society and it is our duty to give them due respect. The state government in its very first Cabinet meeting reduced the age criteria for providing old age pension from 80 years to 70 years without any income limit, which has now further been reduced to 60 years. With this decision, about one lakh people will get the benefit of old age pension this year. The present state government has sanctioned pension to 2.21 lakh people. When the BJP government came to power in the year 2017, about Rs. 436 crore were being spent on social security pension whereas today more than Rs. 1300 crore are being spent on it.
It was realized that people had to run one government office to another to get their works done or for redressal of their grievances wasting both money and time. In order to provide relief to the people, the state government took unique initiative of hosting Jan Manch for redressal of their grievances at their door-step. It is a matter of pride that this programme has become so popular that so far, 26 Jan Manch have been organized at 256 places and out of 55,249 complaints, more than ninety percent have been resolved.
Moving one step ahead in this direction, ‘Mukhya Mantri Seva Sankalp Helpline-1100’ was started. Any person can register his complaint from any corner to get his issues redressed within a stipulated time period. As many as 3,82,457 complaints have been received on this helpline number till 19 May, 2022, out of which 3,66,627 have been settled.
The ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna’ of the Union government came as a boon to the women folk and provided them much needed relief from traditional chullahs and collecting fire-wood by providing free gas connections. On similar lines, our government started ‘Mukhya Mantri Grihini Suvidha Yojna’ for the eligible families of the state who could not be covered under Ujjwala Yojna. Under this scheme, three cylinders including free gas connection are being provided to 3.31 lakh families besides 1.37 lakh families have been provided free gas connections under ‘Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojna’ as well. Now, we have decided to provide one more additional free cylinder to the beneficiaries under both these schemes from this financial year. Himachal Pradesh has become the first state of the country to be declared smoke-free.
The state government also started ‘Mukhya Mantri Shagun Yojna’ for marriage of daughters belonging to families living below poverty line. The financial assistance of Rs. 31 thousands is being provided under the scheme for their marriage. As many as 4,437 girls have been provided financial assistance of Rs. 13.76 crore. ‘Mukhya Mantri Kanyadan Yojna’ has also proved to be beneficial in providing financial assistance for the marriage of destitute women and girls. Total 6,730 girls have been provided financial assistance of Rs. 29.57 crore.
The government has started ‘HIMCARE’ scheme from January, 2019 under which five members of the beneficiary family are being provided free treatment facility up to Rs. 5 lakh per year. As many as 5.97 lakh families have been registered under HIMCARE and a sum of Rs. 266.59 crore has been spent on cashless treatment of 2.84 lakh patients. Besides, 4.31 lakh families of the state are registered under the Center Government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme and Rs. 175.57 crore has been spent on providing treatment facility to 1.41 lakh patients.
In order to provide financial assistance to the economically weaker sections suffering from serious ailments, the state government has started ‘Mukhya Mantri Sahara Yojna’. Under this scheme, financial assistance of Rs. 3,000 is provided to them every month. So far, Rs. 69.61 crore has been provided to 19,434 beneficiaries under this scheme. Under the ‘Mukhya Mantri Nishulk Dawai Yojna’, 1374 types of medicines are being made available free of cost in all the government hospitals of the state. The government has spent more than Rs. 216 crore on this scheme.
Apart from this, free treatment is being provided to the poor people suffering from serious diseases in all government hospitals of the state as well as in PGI Chandigarh, AIIMS Delhi and Government Hospital located in Sector-32 in Chandigarh through ‘Mukhya Mantri Chikitsa Kosh’.
Under the leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, AIIMS has been set up at Kothipura in Bilaspur district, a satellite center of PGI in Una and three medical colleges were announced for the state. The Government of India has also approved a Medical Device Park at Nalagarh in which five thousand crore rupees will be invested and 10 thousand people will get direct and indirect employment.
The government is committed to provide clean drinking water to all the people of State. So far, 8.42 lakh tap connections have been given under the Jal Jeevan Mission launched by the government of India whereas only 7.63 lakh connections were provided before Jal Jeevan Mission in the state. The state government has decided to provide free water supply in rural areas.
The roads are considered to be the lifeline of the state’s economy. Taking this into consideration, the government focused on strengthening of road infrastructure in the state. Total 3527 Kilometers of motorable roads, 268 Kilometers of jeepable roads and 268 bridges were constructed so far. The Union government has approved 13 world class ropeways and several national highways for the state which will help in boosting economy of the state rapidly.
State government is also committed to provide maximum employment opportunities to the youth of the state. To achieve this objective, ‘Mukhya Mantri Swavalamban Yojna’ has been started which has proved very effective in this direction. Under this, 25 percent subsidy is being given to the youth for investing in machinery, equipment and industrial plant (up to one crore rupees) for start ups. From this year, we have increased the subsidy for women from 30 percent to 35 percent and for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and specially-abled from 25 to 30 percent under the scheme. As of today, 3758 units with an investment of about Rs. 624 crore have been established in which more than 10 thousand youth have got employment opportunities.
Keeping in view the importance of investment in the economic development of the state, the present state government has taken numerous initiatives to attract investment by its proactive policies, incentives and Ease of Doing Business. It was for the first time that a mega Global Investors Meet was organized in Dharamshala in November, 2019 in which 703 MoUs with an investment of Rs 96,721 crore were signed. A month later, Union Home Minister Shri Amit Shah did ground breaking of 240 projects amounting to Rs. 13,656 crore in the first ground breaking ceremony held in Shimla.
The second such ground breaking ceremony was performed by the Prime Minister at Mandi on 27 December, 2021 on the occasion of completion of four year’s tenure of the state government in which 287 projects worth Rs. 28,197 crore were grounded. It is a matter of great pleasure for us that the state’s ranking has gone up from 16th position to 7th in Ease of Doing Business.
When it comes to the agriculture and allied sectors, the state government has started many new schemes so as to increase the income of farmers and orchardists besides providing them better irrigation and marketing facilities and to protect their crops from wild animals. State Government’s ‘Prakritik Kheti Khushal Kisan Yojna’ has proved effective in giving a new dimension to the agriculture sector. More than 1.71 lakh progressive farmers have adopted this scheme. Similarly, under ‘Mukhya Mantri Khet Sanrakshan Yojna’, the state government is providing subsidy for solar fencing of farms individually and collectively.
With the implementation of Integrated Horticulture Mission in the state, subsidies are being provided for purchase of equipment for horticulture development, water storage tanks and protected cultivation of flowers etc. Under this mission, 16 thousand 850 farmers have been benefitted by spending Rs. 135.54 crore. HP SHIVA Yojna is also being implemented for the development of horticulture in the plain areas of the state.
Besides taking electricity facility to every house, the government has decided to make electricity free upto 125 units. About 11 lakh domestic electricity consumers of the state will be benefited with this decision. Electricity rate for farmers has been fixed at 30 paise per unit.
Under ‘Mukhya Mantri Roshni Yojna’, 12,837 poor families have been provided free electricity connections. In this financial year, five thousand additional eligible families will be given such free connections.
The state government is committed to provide shelter to poor people and has provided financial assistance to 6,356 beneficiaries at the rate of Rs. 1.50 lakh per household unit under ‘Mukhya Mantri Awas Yojna’ to the B.P.L. families. Similarly, under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Gramin) about 7100 houses have been sanctioned in the last four years and 7,404 houses have been constructed under Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojna (Urban) to poor families.
In order to encourage tourism sector in the state, our government has sanctioned Rs. 200 crore under the ‘Nai Rahein-Nai Manzilien’ scheme under which various tourist destinations are being developed in the state.
The state government is providing financial assistance to the economically weak meritorious students for coaching of medical, engineering and other competitive examinations after 12th and graduation. An incentive amount of rupees one lakh is being provided to 100 meritorious students who secured highest marks in class 10th for training in vocational or technical courses.
This year, five cow sanctuaries and Gau Sadans will be established in the state and a farm will also be set up for the conservation of Himachali hill cow. The state government has also decided to increase the grant given for cows in private cow sheds from Rs. 500 to Rs. 700 per month.
The minimum wage of unskilled daily wagers has been increased by Rs. 50 to Rs. 350 per day. During the tenure of the present government, daily wage has been increased by Rs. 140. The honorarium of Anganwadi workers has been enhanced by Rs. 1700, ASHA workers by Rs. 1825. The honorarium of SMC teachers has been increased by Rs. 1000. Similarly, the honorarium of employees working in various departments has also been increased by Rs. 900 per month.
Being committed to welfare of the employees, the government has given benefits of revised pay scale to its employees and pensioners as well. From the year 2018 to 2022, financial benefits of Rs. 7 thousand 801 crore have been given to the state government employees and pensioners.
State government is getting full support of the Center government in the development in the state. Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has a special attachment towards Himachal Pradesh and under his leadership the state has got projects worth thousands of crores. The construction of Atal Tunnel Rohtang and railway expansion has been possible only with the help of the Center Government.
State government has made sincere efforts to make Himachal Pradesh self-reliant state. With the full support of people and the efforts of the government, Himachal Pradesh will scale new heights of development in the coming future.
By VIJAYRAJ SURANA