While presiding over the meeting of Himachal Pradesh Scheduled Castes Welfare Board at Dharamshala today, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced enhancement of financial grant to the Scheduled Caste families for purchase of tools from Rs. 1300 to Rs. 5000 and for purchase of sewing machine from existing Rs. 1800 to Rs. 5000 to facilitate the people of these communities. He also announced that the library of one college in every district would be named as Dr. Bhim Rao Ambedkar Library as a mark of respect to the founder of the Indian Constitution.Chief Minister said that upliftment and socio-economic development of the Scheduled Castes was the main concern of the State Government and top priority was being laid to ensure that they get maximum benefits of the welfare schemes initiated by the State as well as the Centre Governments. He said that a transparent mechanism should be adopted to ensure that a genuine beneficiary was not deprived of being selected for various welfare schemes. He said that complete transparency must also be ensured in selection of BPL families of Scheduled caste families.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has constructed Ambedkar Bhawans in all the Vidhan Sabha constituencies of the State. He said that about 51 have been already completed and remaining were in different stages of completion. He said that proper maintenance of Ambedkar Bhawans must also be ensured as they were proving of immense use for the community. He also suggested that a mechanism of managing these Bhawans must be taken up at the local level.Chief Minister said that the State Government has launched special recruitment drive to fill up the backlog of Scheduled Castes in the Government jobs so that youth of this category could get appropriate representation in the Government jobs. He said that the State Government has directed the State Police to take stern action against the persons involved in atrocities against the Scheduled Castes communities. He said that the State Scheduled Castes Corporation was providing loans at subsidized rates to the youth of these communities so that they could start their self-employment ventures.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government was also committed to provide all possible facilities to the Scheduled Caste dominated villages. He said that adequate provision of funds has been made for providing water, paths and street lights in these villages. He said that the State Government has recently decided to enhance the income limit for availing the benefits of various welfare schemes from existing Rs. 35,000 to Rs. 50,000 per annum. This decision of the State Government would ensure coverage of more families of the weaker sections under it, he added.Chief Minister said that it was very vital that each and every section of society live with a sense of brotherhood, as only then the society, State and the nation could progress. He said that the State Government would not tolerate any form of discrimination against any community in the State. He said that gradually with the spread of education, incidents of discrimination were decreasing day by day. He directed the officers to give top priority to the developmental demands of Scheduled Caste dominated villages.Jai Ram Thakur said that the State Government has recently announced zero billing of power consumption upto sixty units and this decision has mainly benefitted maximum of Scheduled Caste community. He said that about four lakh families were being benefitted by this decision of the State Government.He also thanked the members of the Board for their valuable suggestions.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Sarveen Chaudhary while welcoming the Chief Minister said that the present State Government under the able leadership of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur was committed for socio-economic upliftment of the Scheduled Castes community of the State. She said that several welfare and development oriented schemes were being implemented in the State. She said that an amount Rs. 929 crore was being spent for providing social security pension to different categories in the State during the current financial year.Principal Secretary R.D. Nazeem welcomed the Chief Minister and other dignitaries present on the occasion.Director Social Justice and Empowerment Vivek Bhatia conducted the proceedings of the meeting.Several non-official members of the Board gave their valuable suggestions on the occasion. They also thanked the Chief Minister for initiating several welfare schemes for the Scheduled castes community. Chief Whip and MLA Vikram Jaryal, MLA Dharamshala Vishal Nehria, Director Rural Development Rugved Thakur, Deputy Commissioner Kangra Dr. Nipun Jindal were present on the occasion among others, whereas other Deputy Commissioners joined the meeting virtually from their respective districts.