Shimla, Sep 15
Himachal Pradesh Assembly passed a legislation in the state assembly to amend the HPTD&R Act 2002 for creation of new posts in the tourism development board on Tuesday.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur who also holds the portfolio of tourism department said that
under the principal act Chairman and Vice Chairman of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Board shall be the Chief Minister and Tourism Minister respectively in the Board.
He said that in the absence of the Chairman the Vice Chairman looks after the functions of the Board and also presided the its meeting. However sometimes the portfolio of the tourism Department is held by CM. Since Chief Minister remains preoccupied and times and may not be in position to devote sufficient time to look after the affairs of the Board.
Therefore, it has been considered expedient to make provisions to enable the government to appoint vice chairman any person by nomination so that functions of Board may be performed smoothly, this would increase the efficiency of the working of the Board.
The Chief Minister said that it would involve nominal addition of financial burden, which could not be quantified.
Opposition members Jagat Singh Negi and Rakesh Singha also come up with the amendments on the bill. Negi said that new legislation give power to the state Government to appoint the office vice chairman of the board which should be conferred to the speaker and the vice chairman should be appointed from the members of this house.
He charged the government to appoint a army of non-political leaders who are being appointed chairman and vice chairman of various boards of Corporation.
Speaking on the bill Rakesh Singha said that the government move to create a new vice chairman post in the legislation would give the wrong message as the government has a resource crunch and it was shrinking at the time of pandemic. He said if Government did not want to defer this legislation at least three months the provisions should be made that non-official members appointed for the post of chairman should not be given any remuneration or allowances.
Opposition Leader Mukesh Agnihotri said that the government wanted to please the non-political people under the pretext of this bill and the Government should accept the opposition amendments to give a message at the time Covid-19 by withdrawing the bill.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that he welcomed the suggestion and amendments being made in the bill said that the Chairman and vice chairman under this legislation would not be paid any salaries or allowances and the vice chairman would be given allowances, which are very nominal.
He said that during the Virbhadra Singh Government Major Vijay Singh Mankotia was appointed as vice chairman who was not MLA. He said that Government should have given power to appoint the vice chairman as it should have some say to elevated people from the party to such posts as previous Congress govts were appointing some non-official members.
Chief Minister said that this act does not come under the preview of office of profit and Government could appoint vice chairman as the chairman and vice chairman who would be Chief Minister and Tourism Minister would not draw any salaries or allowances
under the act.
The house passed the bill by voice votes, despite it was opposed by the opposition rejecting the amendments.