Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur announced to increase the nazrana (honorarium) paid to local deities participating in the Kullu Dussehra festival by five per cent and distance allowance by 20 per cent.
This was stated by the CM, while presiding over the concluding day of the weeklong International Kullu Dussehra on Thursday.
He also announced ten per cent increase in remuneration of Bajantaris, who accompany the local deities to the festival besides making provision of Rs 75,000 for Haripur and Manikaran Dussehra and Rs 50,000 for Manikaran Dussehra festival.
The CM also announced 3 per cent Dearness Allowance to the state government employees and pensioners which will be payable from 1 January, 2018. It will put additional financial burden of Rs 200 crore on the state exchequer.
Thakur said that additional funds amounting to Rs 4.50 crore would be provided for the completion of work on Atal Dussehra Sadan in Kullu and Rs 4 crore for construction of modern building in the premises of the office of Deputy Commissioner, Kullu.
Kullu Dussehra festival had been playing a major role in preservation and promotion of the rich culture of the state, he said, adding that this festival had historic, cultural and religious background and it was also famous as tourism, commercial festival in which people from the different corners of the country and abroad participates with great zeal and enthusiasm.
Thakur said that efforts were afoot to develop various places of the Kullu district for tourism activities. The government had taken a decision to connect Bijli Mahadev tourist destination with the rope-way. Under Udan-II project, the major tourist places of the state would be linked with heli-taxi service.
Stressing the need to preserve environment along with the culture, he appealed to the people of the state to help in maintaining pollution free atmosphere.
The Chief Minister said that keeping in view the loss to the apple crop due to heavy snowfall in Lahaul-Spiti district during last month, the state government would procure apples at a rate of Rs 20 per kilogram to give respite to the apple growers besides providing subsidy on apple plantation.