The Himachal Pradesh cabinet today approved draft notifications of self-employment scheme for the youth, Mukhya Mantri Swavlamban Yojana, and Grihni Suvidha Yojna for women empowerment and environmental conservation, and raised the honorarium of elected representatives in Panchayati Raj Institutions. The cabinet, at a meeting presided over by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, relaxed the condition of 33-year qualifying service for full pension for employees seeking voluntary or pre-mature retirement after 20 years.
The erstwhile government had amended the pension scheme in November 2014 to curb the tendency of qualified doctors, engineers and other professionals to seek premature retirement and clearly stated that these employees would get pro-rata (proportionate) pension if they did not complete 33 years in service. The Mukhya Mantri Swavlamban Yojana- 2018 to promote self-employment opportunities in the state and provide livelihood to the youth by encouraging local entrepreneurship and the Himachal Grihni Suvidha Yojna for women empowerment and environmental conservation were announced by the chief minister in his budget speech in March this year.
Under this scheme for women, the state government would provide security for LPG connections and gas stove to remaining households which were not covered under the ‘Ujjawala’ Scheme being run by the central government. The cabinet gave its nod for hike in honorarium of office-bearers of Panchayati Raj Institutions in the state and decided to increase monthly honorarium of chairpersons of zilla parishads from Rs 8,000 to Rs 11,000, vice-chairpersons from Rs 6,000 to Rs 7,500, and members from Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,500.
Panchayat Samiti chairpersons’ honorarium increased from Rs 5,000 to Rs 6,500, vice-chairmen from Rs 3,500 to Rs 4,500, members from 3,000 to Rs 4,000. Honorarium of Pradhan and up-pradhan of Gram Panchayats has been increased from Rs 3,000 and Rs 2,200 to Rs 4,000 and Rs 2,500 per month. Similarly, meeting allowance of members of gram panchayats has been enhanced to Rs 240 per meeting from existing Rs 225, with a maximum two meetings in a month.
The cabinet also approved hike in the state’s share of honorarium of anganwadi workers, anganwadi helpers and mini-anganwadi workers from Rs 1,450 to Rs 1,750, from Rs 6,00 to Rs 900 and from Rs 750 to Rs 1,050 per month respectively. With this increase, the anganwadi workers will get honorarium of Rs 4,750, anganwadi helpers will get Rs 2,400 and mini-anganwadi workers will receive honorarium of Rs 3,300 per month. The cabinet also approved an annual increase of Rs 2,000 in scholarship under the Dr. Ambedkar Medhavi Chhatravriti Yojna from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 12000 and increase the number of eligible beneficiaries from 2,000 to 2,500.
It also gave its approval to fill up 333 posts of different categories on contract basis in the National Health Mission to provide better health care facilities to the people.