SUBJECT : Himachal plans to go big on eco tourism, revises policy

Shimla, May 12th: The Himachal Pradesh cabinet, in its meeting held on Wednesday, approved the revised Eco-Tourism Policy-2016 to make the state a leading eco-tourism destination, attracting at least 10% of the overall tourists visiting by 2030. However, before bidding, it was decided that the department obtain forest clearance. The policy is based on the understanding that involvement of local communities in eco-tourism will support their livelihood needs, and consequently create a stake for them in the conservation of local culture, ecology, and environment.

The cabinet, presided over by chief minister Virbhadra Singh, also reviewed the progress of various departments in implementing budget assurances, and directions were issued to expedite the implementation of pending works. To provide a better healthcare system to people, the cabinet approved the adoption of State Health Commission recommendations, which call for the creation of a Himachal Pradesh State Health Fund to generate resources, and recommend the development of Sirmaur and Kangra as model healthcare districts.
It was also decided to procure and distribute school uniforms under the Mahatma Gandhi Vardi Yojna to students from classes 1-10 through e-tender by the Himachal Pradesh State Civil Supply Corporation Limited for 2016-17, and 2017-18. Another proposal was approved to provide facilities in potential industrial zones at Dulehar, Dehlan, Ispur, Ispur-II, and Gagret (Una district); Paonta Sahib, Mazra, and Nahan (Sirmour district); Kotla, Indora, and Raja-Ka-Bag (Kangra district); Doon, Patta, Tiro, Majhol, and Nalagarh (Solan district); and Kot-Kehloor (Bilaspur district).
*More than 3,000 posts to be created and filled.
* Approval was accorded for the incorporation of a company (special purpose vehicle) Kishau Corporation Limited by the Government of Himachal Pradesh -- in a joint venture with the Government of Uttarkhand in equal participation -- to execute Kishau Multipurpose Project (660 MW), besides authorizing HPPCL to perform all acts and deeds for the incorporation on behalf of the state government.

* To reduce stamp duty from four per cent to three per cent for the registration of a house in the name of a woman.

* Electric vehicles exempted from payment of token tax and registration fee. This is being done in compliance with the orders of the National Green Tribunal to provide a sustainable and environment-friendly public transit system, and encourage the use of electric vehicles.

* It also decided to transfer the land in favour of the Geological Survey of India for the construction of a training institute at Shivalik Fossil Park in Saketi of Sirmour district.

* The cabinet Okayed a proposal regarding insertion of entry 'sim cards' in Schedule B of the Himachal Pradesh Value Added Tax Act- 2015.

Source: Times of India