HP Cabinet extends group insurance scheme to all employees

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Shimla, Sep 27 (UNI) The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet today decided to extend Group Personal Accident Insurance Scheme to all the regular, ad hoc, contractual, part-time and daily wage employees of government departments, boards, corporations, universities and autonomous bodies, official sources said.

The Cabinet, which met here under the Chairmanship of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh, besides extending the insurance scheme also made enrollment of all employees compulsory.

The sources said every employee would now have to contribute a sum of Rs 50 every year to avail benefits under the scheme.

Besides, the Cabinet sanctioned 2,367 posts of different categories in various departments, boards and corporations and 57 vehicles for mobility of the field officials.

It also decided to exempt stamp duty and registration fee on loans from any financial institution, banks, including cooperative, to all the farmers of the state under different schemes.

Loans on agriculture and allied sectors like medicinal plants, dairy, fisheries, poultry, floriculture and mushroom would also be provided exemption, without any ceiling, as against an earlier ceiling of Rs one lakh, the sources said.

The Cabinet also approved application of instructions of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on charging of interest more than principal amount on short term agriculture loans availed by small and marginal farmers issued in the year 1984 to commercial banks.

It made the scheme applicable to cooperative banks and Primary Agriculture Cooperative Society (PACS) in the state to mitigate distress of farmers due to interest burden.

Respective deputy commissioners have been directed not to penalise small and marginal farmers, who had suffered losses due to heavy rains, for recovery of loans.

The meeting also approved extension of the date of application for allotment of two biswas of land in rural areas and one biswa in urban area for house construction to eligible applicants to October 15.

It also directed the concerned authorities to decide the applications by December 31 after the income limit had been enhanced to Rs 15,000 from Rs 10,000 per annum.

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