Himachal Pradesh Cabinet in a meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur thanked the Union Government led by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi for announcing Rs 20 lakh crore economic package for the country to tackle the adverse affects on economy due to lockdown imposed in wake of COVID-19 pandemic.The Cabinet observed that this package would go a long way in reviving the economy of the country by providing much needed relief to weaker sections, MSME, business community, workers and general public. It felt that the package would prove a milestone in making of a strong, vibrant and self reliant India.In order to provide more employment opportunities and to facilitate employers of tiny and small units and petty contractors, the Cabinet gave its approval to make necessary amendments in Section-1 of the Contract Labour (R&A) Act, 1970 (37 of 1970) in its application to the State of Himachal Pradesh, in Sub Section-4. The amendment proposes to enhance the threshold limit for contract employment from 20 to 30 workmen. This would also help in increasing industrial investment, production and ease of doing business in the State.The Cabinet also gave its nod for amendment in Section-2 (m)(i), 2(m)(ii), Section-65 (3)(iv), Section-85(1)(i) and insertion of New Section 106 (b) for compounding of offences in the Factories Act, 1948 to increase the manufacturing activities by small units in the State by enhancing the existing threshold limits of ten and twenty workers to 20 and 40 respectively. This amendment will encourage the establishment of small manufacturing units resulting in creating of more employment opportunities for workers. Similarly, presently a worker may work overtime for maximum 75 hours in any quarter.
But the amendment in clause (IV) 3 of Section 65 proposes to increase this limit to 115 hours subject to the condition that the overtime will have to be paid twice the rate of ordinary wages, so that the workers may get more opportunities to earn.It also gave its consent to make amendment in Section -22, (I) Section 25 F(b) Section-25 K of the Industrial Disputes Act, 1947, (14 of 1947). This would increase industrial investment, production and employment opportunities and further enhancement of ease of doing business in the State. This would ensure in providing a conducive and business friendly environment to the industrial establishments as well as to the workmen helping increase employment opportunities.It accorded its approval to upgrade Community Health Centre Tihra in district Mandi to 50 bedded Civil Hospital.The Cabinet also gave its approval to open Primary Health Centre at Bhekhali in Kullu district. It also decided to provide extension in the validity period of Letter of Intent in favour of M/s Alco Spirits Private Ltd. at village Kundla (Gumti) in tehsil Nahan of district Sirmaur to facilitate the Company to complete its project work which has been delayed due to COVID-19 pandemic.The Cabinet gave its approval to exclude income tax payers from drawing benefits of subsidy under Targeted Public Distribution Scheme for one year as proposed by the Cabinet Sub Committee for Post COVID-19 Economic Revival.It also proposed to enhance the upper income ceiling limit for selection of beneficiaries of BPL/priority households to Rs. 45000 approximately. This will increase the number of National Food Security Act households by 1,50,000 thereby making them eligible for getting wheat atta and rice at the highly subsidized rate of Rs. 3.30 per kg. and Rs. 2 per kg. respectively.It also gave its approval for rationalization of subsidy on pulses, edible oil and sugar being provided by the State Government to the APL families.The Cabinet decided to open 15 Atal Adarsh Vidyalayas in various parts of the State to facilitate the students in getting quality education. .