Shimla, Aug 11
The state assembly witnessed noisy scenes and ruckus when the house discussed a no-confidence motion during the second day of Monsoon. However, it was defeated by voice votes amid the Opposition’s walkout and boycott of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur’s reply to the debate.
Including the Chief Minister, 11 members of the ruling and opposition took part in the discussion. The Chief Minister gave a reply to the debate on the motion of no-confidence around 4 pm. In his reply, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur defended the council of ministers over the volley of charges levelled against it during the debate stating that the Congress party should have heard them before staging a walkout from the house.
As the speaker Vipin Singh Parmar asked the Chief Minister to speak, a number of members objected stating that they were not allowed to speak, and whereafter, all the Congress members walked out of the house and did not return.
Thakur said that the BJP government has constituted a high-level committee of officers to consider the demand for the restoration of the old pension scheme. Condemning the Congress for making a promise to restore the old pension scheme after returning to power, Chief Minister said that opposition parties had also made similar cherry promises in the state of Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh but could not notify the old pension scheme.
He said that the government also took the matter with the Central government to resolve the issue as the corpus of the NPS scheme is linked with the share market which could not be withdrawn. He said that matter is not so simple and BJP would not allure the employees by making cherry promises like Congress.
Defending his government to lease out a number of Himachal Pradesh Tourism Development Corporation properties to private houses he said that while signing the MOU to take a loan from the Asian Development Bank, it was the Congress government who had signed the clause of handing over some of the properties to the private parties. However, now, Congress was accusing his government of selling such units to private houses.
The Chief Minister advised that the Shiv Dham project coming in the state should not be politicised as this state is Dev Bhumi and such a project was required to promote tourism in the state. Thakur said that Congress members tried to trivialise the issue by raising unfounded doubt about its execution, even though this project would help to increase religious tourism in Himachal.
He said that it is correct that the project was advertised at Rs 16 Crore based on the previously scheduled rates of the market for material prices during Congress rule but was allotted Rs 38 Crore as the new schedule rate was considered in the allotment of tenders.
Attacking the Congress over the announcement of Rs 1500 per month to each woman between the age group of 18 to 60 years Thakur stated that unusual confusion prevailed among opposition leaders on the issue. Meanwhile, some junior leaders criticised the leader of the opposition Mukesh Agnihotri stating that one should cut his cloth according to the size of the cloth.
BJP government implemented each and every scheme which it made public as the Women were promised to be offered subsidised travel, is now implemented by the government.
Six members blamed the government to cross the borrowing limit but they seemed to have no knowledge of this issue. He said that the government have taken Rs 16998 Cr loan in the last four years which is nothing compared to breaching this limit of borrowing, wherein Congress in their regime exceeded 67 per cent.
Thakur said that due to the reduction of VAT on Diesel and Petrol, twice, the prices of Diesel in H.P are lesser than in Punjab and Chandigarh. Thakur said that some people are trying to get a political advantage on the issue of Horticulture however his government is sensitive to the issue of increasing GST on the Packaging material from 12 to 18 per cent. Therefore, the state decided to bear the burden of increased GST by offering a subsidy of six per cent to farmers.
Thakur said that 2245 people are recruited in the state through Himachal Pradesh Public Service Commission and 13911 through the Subordinate Selection Board. Thakur defended by stating that CBI did not take up the Police paper leak case and SIT has probed the matter. Moreover, the Government could not press the CBI to take up the matter.
The Speaker presented the no-confidence motion for a vote in the house which was defeated by the voice votes as no member of the Opposition was in the house.