The Himachal Pradesh government on Thursday gave nod to constitute 6th State Finance Commission to review the financial position of the panchayats and urban local bodies (ULBs).

The decision to constitute 6th State Finance Commission was in the Cabinet meeting held here today under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

A government spokesperson said the Commission will review the financial position of the panchayats and urban local bodies and make recommendations to the Governor.

The Governor would be given suggestions regarding measures needed to improve the financial position of these panchayats and urban local bodies’ determination of taxes, duties, tolls and fees, grants in aid to panchayats from the consolidated Fund of the state and any other matter regarding sound finances of these bodies.

“The Cabinet also decided to increase the honorarium of Jal Rakshaks/Para Fitters and Para Pump Operators in Jal Shakti Vibhag by Rs 300 per month.

With this increase, now Jal Rakshaks would get Rs 3,300 per month whereas Para Fitters and Para Pump Operators would get an honorarium of Rs 4,300 per month,” he said.

The official said the Cabinet gave nod to amend the income criteria for eligibility of 3/2 Biswas land in Rural/Urban areas of the State to houseless persons/families by enhancing it from existing Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh per annum so that more people could get the benefit of this scheme.

The Cabinet accorded its approval for procurement, supply and distribution of school bags under Atal School Vardi Yojna to the school students of 1st, 3rd, 6th and 9th classes on e-tender basis through HP State Civil Supplies Corporation Ltd for the year 2020-21. This would benefit 2,56,514 students of these classes.

He further stated that it decided to create a State Disaster Mitigation Fund and approved the guidelines for the administration of the Fund under Disaster Management Act, 2005 and Rules, 2011 to meet the expenses on mitigation as preparedness and response activities are covered under a separate fund known as State Disaster Management Fund.

Under this Fund, 20 percent of the State Disaster Risk Management Fund would be used for mitigation, which comes to Rs 90.80 crore for the current financial year. Besides, funds worth Rs 50 crore have also been recommended for managing Seismic and Landslide Risks in hill States from National Disaster Mitigation Fund to the state.

It gave its consent to establish a Silkworm Seed Production Centre at Thunag in Mandi district along with creation and filling up of four posts of different categories to man this Centre.

The Cabinet accorded its nod to open a new Government Polytechnic Institute in Sulah Vidhan Sabha area of Kangra district along with creation and filling up of 29 posts of different categories to manage this institution.

It decided to create and fill up three more posts of different categories in Civil Hospital, Tihra in district Mandi for its smooth functioning, he added.