Dharamshala: In the meeting of Himachal Pradesh Other Backward Classes (OBC) Welfare Board at Parayas Bhawan, Dharamshala, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh said that Government had increased the income limit of creamy layer to Rs.6 lakhs per annum from Rs.4.50 Lakhs with a view to provide benefits to the maximum people of OBC.
Chief Minister said that as per report of census of 2001, OBC population was 9,27,542 which was 15.27 percent of the total population of the State. He said that in order to provide proper representation to OBCs in Government jobs, reservation of 12 percent for Class-I and II category and 18 percent reservation for Class-III and IV has been provided.
He said that State Government had taken up the matter to include more sub castes in the OBC schedule with Government of India in February, 2006 adding that Central Government has included Tarkhan, Badhai, Ramgarhi, Dhiman (Excluding Lohar), Vishwkarma, Pumba, Hadi and Saini in the schedule while other’s were being considered by Central Backward Category Commission.
Chief Minister said that State Government has taken a decision to provide three Biswa of land in rural areas and two Biswa in urban areas for construction of house to all the landless/ houseless families in the state.
Virbhadra Singh said that equal development of all categories was being ensured for overall and balanced development of the State and various initiatives have been taken to ensure speedy development of all categories especially weaker sections of the society. He said that the State had achieved many milestones and rapid development had been ensured during last one year.
Virbhadra Singh directed the district administration to construct link road leading to cremation site of Labana community in Galma panchayat of Mandi district. He also directed concerned authorities to repair road leading to Labana community temple at Tanda in Lohara panchyat in Mandi district.
He stressed the need of planting fruit bearing species in the forest to provide food to the monkeys and to avoid conflict between humans and wild animals besides checking monkey menace.
Chief Minister said that directions have been issued to prepare project report for the chanalization of Batta River in Sirmour district. He also directed PWD to prepare feasibility report for constructing a bridge over Batta River to link Fatehpur with Gulabnagar.
Social Justice and Empowerment Minister Dr. Dhani Ram Shandil while welcoming the Chief Minister said that State Government has started various schemes for the upliftment and welfare of OBC’s. He said that with a view to provide employment opportunities to the people of these communities various training courses had been conducted in the State. He said that the number of OBC beneficiaries’ students under various schemes has been increased to 2500 students from 500 during current financial year.
Dr. Shandil said that Himachal Pradesh Backward Classes Finance and Development Corporation had been setup at Kangra and vocational training was being provided to the OBCs by this corporation adding that loans upto Rs. five lakh were being provided on low interest rates for self employment ventures. Besides interest free loans upto 50000/- rupees were also being provided for higher education and professional courses. He said that students of this community were also being provided scholarships.
Dr Shandil said that 2,92,921 old age, handicapped, widows and destitute and single women were being provided social security pension of Rs. 500/- per month and Rs.1000/- was being given to the people above 80 years. He said that Rs. 200 crores would be spent on providing pension in the State during current financial year.
Various matters of development pertaining to road construction, water and irrigation, electricity, filling of vacant post of OBC’s and increase the percentage of reservation to OBC’s were discussed at length in the meeting.
Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, Chief Parliamentary Secretaries Jagjivan Pal and Neeraj Bharti, Former Minister Chander Kumar, Acting Chief Secretary P Mitra, Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, HOD’s, Senior Officers and official and Non-Official members of the board were present in the meeting. Additional Chief Secretary, Social Justice and Empowerment P.C. Kapoor conducted the proceedings.