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Saturday 16 December 2017
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Government creates Fund for preservation of religious institutions

With a view to promote and preserve the rich heritage of religious institutions of Himachal Pradesh, the State government has decided to provide grant-in-aid for worship/prayers and maintenance of the religious institutions through revolving fund.

In the past, many religious institutions had their own land and income generated out of it was used to maintain the temple and for daily prayers and worship etc. After implementation of various land reforms, many religious institutions lost their landed estates resulting into paucity of income. This resulted in hampering of maintenance as well as regular worship in the temple. Taking this fact in to consideration, Himachal Pradesh government has created the revolving fund scheme to regularise the daily prayers/worship, ensure proper maintenance of the religious institutions besides helping them to increasing their income.

The Director of the department of Language, Art and Culture has been authorised to invest the amount of revolving fund with the highest interest paying nationalized or cooperative banks in fixed deposit accounts. The interest will be utilized for implementation of this plan. This way, the religious institutions will be provided with one time grant-in-aid under the scheme out of total interest received. The fixed deposit account and saving bank account will be operated by the Director.

The grant will be provided in two forms: annually or one time grant for creation of assets. The annual grant will be provided for regular maintenance of religious institutions along-with daily prayers/worship etc. Every year, a fixed amount will be provided in the form of grant. Whereas to increase income of the religious institutions, one time grant will be provided for creation of assets. This will help the religious institutions to become self-sufficient and the step will go a long way in building up infrastructural facilities like sarai (inn), buildings, shops, parking, toilets etc. on barren land owned by these institutions. Moreover, these institutions have been empowered to carry out any such work that could provide regular income to them.

Only those religious institutions have been made eligible for availing grant out of revolving funds whose lands are vested in the tenant’s or government under various land reforms Acts. The temples which are included in Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowment Act and H.P. Ancient and Historical Monuments and Archaeological Sites and Remains Act are not eligible for grants as they are centrally protected. Similarly, religious institutions with individual or personal ownership are also not eligible for grants. The land acquired by the Government and for which compensation has already been awarded to the religious institutions will not be counted for calculation under this scheme.

For availing the benefit of grant, the head or Kardar of eligible religious institution will have to submit desired documents along-with proposal on prescribed forms to the concerned District Language Officer.

For annual grant, will be recommended by the District Language Officer and it will be provided on ‘first come and first serve’ basis. The department will be not under any compulsion to provide grant every year. The grant will depend on the amount available in the revolving fund and will be subject to amendments from time to time. The grants will be provided to the Block Development Officer through concerned Deputy Commissioner, who will make the payment on progress report of work and requirements of the applicant.

The provision has been made that if any violation is found in the rules and regulations of grant in aid by the applicant, the entire amount will be recovered along-with interest in a single instalment.

The concerned officers of the department of Language, Art and Culture will be at liberty to observe the working of the construction from time to time and they can also ask for necessary changes. The department has also been authorised to recover the entire amount of the grant sanctioned along-with interest if it is not utilised for the sanctioned works.



Rahul Bhandari is Editor of TheNewsHimachal and has been part of the digital world for last eight years.