Virbhadra Singh announces slew of schemes on the occasion

The hill State of Himachal Pradesh on Monday celebrated its 66th year of existence. The State had come into being on this day in 1948 with the merger of 30 small princely hill States. Addressing people on the occasion in Kullu, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that the government was planning to initiate “Mukhyamantri Adarsh Krishi Gaon Yojana” in the State under which Agriculture Development Plans would be prepared for one Panchayat each in all the 68 assembly constituencies. He said that Rs. 10 lakh would be provided to each selected Panchayat for creation and upgradation of agriculture infrastructure.

On the promise of providing an unemployment allowance to the jobless youth in his party’s manifesto, he said that in order to upgrade the skills of the youth for getting better employment opportunities, the State government had decided to provide a “Skill Development Allowance” of Rs. 1000 per month to the educated unemployed youth. He said that Rs. 1500 per month would be provided to persons with disabilities.

Mr. Singh also claimed that his government would provide 10,000 houses to the poor in the current year under the Rajiv Awas Yojna and the grant in this scheme had been enhanced to Rs. 75,000 from Rs. 48,500 earlier. He also said that about 2,500 habitations would be provided with safe drinking water facilities and 2000 more hand-pumps would be installed this financial year. He said a power subsidy of Rs. 270 crore would be given to the domestic consumers and a ration subsidy of Rs. 175 crore would be given for providing food stuff at cheaper rates.

Mr. Singh also presented certain State-based promotional awards to NGOs and individuals for doing good work and announced some sops to the Kullu Manali region that comes under the Mandi parliamentary constituency from where he was the Lok Sabha MP. The seat at present is vacant and his wife is the likely Congress candidate from here, said his party men.