20 major decisions taken at Cabinet Meet
By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 20 Dec: A cabinet meeting was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami at the Secretariat here today. In all, 20 proposals were submitted before the cabinet and all were approved.
Secretary to Government of Uttarakhand, Shailesh Bagoli briefed the media after the conclusion of the Cabinet meeting. The most significant decision was the approval by the Cabinet of the new Hydropower Policy of Uttarakhand. The policy which was approved today has been drafted on the lines of that implemented in the neighbouring state of Himachal Pradesh.
Bagoli stated that Himachal Pradesh had, last year, come up with a policy aimed at making hydropower projects more practical and financially viable. Some key points in the Himachal Policy include provision of mandatory procurement of power from power projects of less than 25 MW by the local Discoms and a one-time amnesty, etc., which have now been included in the new hydropower policy of Uttarakhand.
Bagoli added that the Cabinet has also accorded approval in principle of the recommendations put forward by various departments in the recently held Chintan Shivir held at LBSNAA, Mussoorie, on the roadmap for development of Uttarakhand.
In yet another important decision, the cabinet approved a new parking policy for the state. Bagoli said that it has also been decided to fill 90 percent posts in the secretariat administration through direct recruitment. The Cabinet also approved a proposal to give the authority of granting parole to the prisoners to the District Magistrates. Earlier, only the Commissioners were allowed to grant parole. The parole will now be permissible for a maximum period of 12 months for which the present rules will be amended.
Bagoli stated that, with the restructuring of PWD, the cabinet approved a proposal to transfer maintenance of 5 roads of SIDCUL to the PWD. At the same time, the parking policy in Uttarakhand was also approved by the cabinet.
Another proposal approved by the cabinet today included upgradation of the ITIs in the state. It was brought to the notice of the cabinet that 10,000 youths are receiving training at 91 ITIs in the state. Of these, 20 institutions will be upgraded on the Karnataka model, to begin with. Later, upgradation of 44 other ITIs will also be taken up. This is aimed at equipping the youth undergoing their courses at ITIs with modern skills in demand in the market to enable a gainful employment.
In order to promote urban public transport, the cabinet approved a proposal to grant full exemption in Motor Vehicle Tax for city buses. In addition, the cabinet also decided to increase the relief in the permit fee from 50 to 75 percent for city buses.
The Cabinet also approved an amendment in the enforcement staff service rules of the transport department. Now all the posts of enforcement constables will be filled through direct recruitment. The Cabinet approved promulgation of the State Parking Rules. The cabinet note in this respect claimed that the urban population is rapidly growing in the state and with the number of vehicles also growing rapidly, there is a need to have a policy to create and manage more parking places in the cities as well as at the tourist sites to facilitate the local residents as well as the tourists.
The cabinet also approved a new Uttarakhand Industrial Relations Policy which is intended to simplify the labour laws. The new policy also aims at ensuring that the labour disputes are dealt with in a timebound manner.
The cabinet approved a proposal to appoint Architecture Service Design Consultancy as consultants to draw up a master plan for redevelopment of the Mahasu Temple site in district Dehradun and Jageshwar Dham temple in district Almora. The cabinet also approved a new Uttarakhand Logistics Policy2022 in order to improve upon the existing logistics infrastructure in the state. The policy also includes creation of railway infrastructure and towards attracting private capital.
The cabinet approved a proposal to exclude the enforcement of master plan in case of use of railway land. The cabinet also approved a proposal to rename University of Engineering and Technology, Roorkee.
A proposal submitted before the cabinet pointed out that tenders had been floated four times for restart of the Lakhwad Hydropower project but only one tender was received every time. The cabinet approved the proposal to open the single tender by relaxing the norms in this respect. But the cabinet also directed that a negotiation committee be constituted to negotiate with the tenderer on the terms.
The cabinet also approved a proposal to give free textbooks to students up to class 12 in government and aided colleges. In another decision, the cabinet also approved a proposal to give 25 percent exemption in stamp duty in property deals to persons with disabilities.