The no-confidence motion brought about by the Opposition Congress against the BJP-led Jai Ram Thakur Government in Himachal Pradesh was defeated by voice vote on day two of the monsoon session on Thursday.
Earlier, the Opposition Congress created a ruckus in the House during the discussion and later staged a walkout in protest stating that they had been given less time for discussion on the no-confidence motion moved by them on Wednesday.
During the proceedings, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur informed that his government has taken up the matter of restoration of old pension with the Central government. He also said the no-confidence motion moved by the Opposition had no merit.
The chief minister said his government is considering the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) sympathetically and for this a high-level committee has been constituted so that some way can be found out.
“The matter is not as simple as the Congress is talking about restoration of OPS. I have personally spoken to the Chief Ministers of Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan on this issue, but these states too have not been able to restore the OPS yet,” he said.
He accused the Congress of misleading the employees on the issue and asked them not to raise the issue for political purposes.
He also urged the employees not to take OPS for political purposes.
The Chief Minister in his reply defended his council of ministers and the allegations leveled against them by the opposition.
Thakur said Congress has created such a situation today that it has become the compulsion of the state to take loans.
“Our government took a loan of only Rs 16,998 crore during its tenure, while the previous Congress government had taken a loan of Rs 19,200 crore in five years. In this way, the present government has taken a loan of Rs 5384 crore less than the limit fixed by the Centre,” he stated.
Had the situation of Corona not arisen, the government would have taken even less loan, he added.
The Chief Minister admitted that the state has suffered due to the implementation of Goods and Service Tax (GST). However, there has been an increase in GST collection and the state’s economy is getting back on track.
On the issue of inflation, he said that the prices of petrol and diesel are much lower in Himachal as compared to the neighboring states of Punjab and Haryana.
Thakur termed the apple movement as a gift of the opposition and said that Congress and CPI (M) were fueling the displeasure of the gardeners to serve their political interests.
He said that due to the increase in the rates of packaging material, the government has decided to give 6 per cent GST at its own level.
The Chief Minister blamed the change in the schedule rate for the increase in the cost of Shivdham project in Mandi and said that complete transparency is being maintained in carrying out this work.
Regarding law and order in the state, he said that strict action has been taken against the criminals and most of the criminals are in jail.
Thakur said that while there were 592 murders during the tenure of the previous Congress government, whereas the figure is 354 during the tenure of the present government.