Stability to be Congress' plank in assembly elections: CM

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Nahan, Sep 11 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today said the Congress will contest the next assembly elections on the plank of stable government, development, high literacy rate, best health care facilities and better resources to the government employees.

Addressing mediapersons of Sirmaur, Lahaul and Spiti and Chamba districts through video conference from Shimla, he said the state had seen rapid development in all sectors during the last four and a half years of Congress rule.

Mr Singh said Himachal Pradesh's economy was growing at a rate of 9.3 per cent, which was even higher than the national average which prompted several industries to set up their base here.

Besides regularising over 40,000 daily workers, the state government had initiated a process to employ several hundred thousands educated unemployeds in various government departments in the near future, he said.

He said the government had made it mandatory for every hydro electric project implementing agency to uphold the riparian rights of the people and release a minimum of 15 per cent water discharge every season to feed the aqua life, drinking water and irrigation needs of the people down stream.

Besides, every company has been asked to ensure that 70 per cent Himachalis were employed in their units, failing which strict action would be taken against them, he said.

He said mini and micro hydro electric projects upto two MW have been reserved exclusively for the Himachali entrepreneurs, while preference would be given to them in projects with capacity up to five MW.

The state government has ordered the corrections in the IRDP lists and provided opportunity to the left out eligible families to appeal in the gram panchayats, sub-divisional magistrate and deputy commissioner office for the inclusion of their names in the lists, he said.

The Chief Minister said Himachal Pradesh was the first state in the country to subsidise essential commodities not only to the antyodaya and below poverty line families, but to every ration card holder through the fair price shops on the basis of number of family members.

The state was providing cheap rations to 14.30 lakh ration card holders, 5.14 lakh below poverty line families and 1.97 lakh antyodaya families, he said .

He said a sum of Rs 100 crore had been earmarked for current financial year, which if required, could be increased to facilitate the consumers.

UNI

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