On the 53rd Statehood Day, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu reiterated his government’s resolve to root out corruption and revamp the derailed system in the state.
Greeting the people of the state on Statehood Day celebrations held at Hamirpur on Wednesday, Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu unfurled the National Flag and took salute from the contingents of police, home guards, Jawans of IRB Skoh, NCC cadets, Scouts and Guides during an impressive march past.
“It was on 11th December 2022, when the new government took over the reign of this hill state and from the very first day we have started to work for revamping the derailed system,” said he, while addressing the gathering.
As per the government’s pledge for zero tolerance towards corruption, stringent measures were being adopted to eliminate this social evil, he said, adding that the suspension of Himachal Pradesh Staff Selection Commission, which was the hub of corruption and was selling jobs, was the first in this direction against corruption.
“Now, the selection will be ensured purely on the basis of merit, in a fair and transparent manner,” said Sukhu.
Lauding the people of the state for having contributed immensely in the development journey of the state, the chief minister mentioned the enormous contribution of the first chief minister, Dr. YS Parmar in the progress of the hill state.
“The economic health of the state is in utter disarray because of the extravagant spending by the previous government that has led to legacy debt of around Rs 75,000 crore,” he said, adding that apart from this, the liability of paying the arrears of Rs 4,430 crore to the employees, Rs 5,226 crore of pensioners and Rs 1,000 crore DA of both is on the present state government.
As many as 900 institutions were opened by BJP in the last nine months of its tenure, without any budgetary provision, due to which the state has to bear an additional burden of Rs 5,000 crore, he said.
“Approximately Rs 8,000 crore of NPS is held up with the Central government. Despite all these challenges, the state government has fulfilled its commitment to restore the old pension scheme, thereby benefitting 1.36 lakh employees,” said the chief minister.
“Restoring the OPS was just not a political decision. The state government intends to protect the self-esteem of the Government employees besides providing them the social security as they play a pivotal role in the development of state,” he said.
The government was forced to take some tough decisions for generating the resources to fulfill its promises, but tough decisions are inevitable, he added.
State government has set up Chief Minister’s Sukh-Ashray Sahayata Kosh with an outlay of Rs 101 crore for providing higher education to beneficiaries of the Kosh for Vocational training in engineering colleges, IIIT, NIT, IIM, IIT, polytechnic institutes, nursing and degree colleges, he said.
The state government will play the role of a guardian for the children living in old age homes and shelter homes, destitute women and children, said the Chief Minister.
To provide education to the poor children, decision has been taken to open Rajiv Gandhi Model Day-Boarding Schools in each assembly constituency in a phased manner, he maintained.
Stressing the employment generation, the chief minister said that job-oriented education was the need of the hour so the government has decided to introduce technical courses, such as robotics, Block Chain Technology, Cyber Security, Cloud Computing, Data Science, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning in the curriculum of ITI, Polytechnic and Engineering Colleges.
The government also intends to boost the tourism sector in order to generate employment opportunities to the local people on a large scale and the tourism projects will be linked with the start-up scheme for the youth.
“We are also trying to promote investment in the private sector and the government will bring a new investment policy, aiming at an ease of doing business,” he said.