Food and power subsidy to continue, says CM

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Shimla, Jan 2 (UNI) Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal today announced that subsidy on food and power will continue to offset any increase in the prices of essential commodities and provide cheap power to the domestic consumers.

''The new government will not effect any changes in the food and power subsidy in the state in the near future to provide relief to the common man, who had brought the BJP to power,'' he said in his first interview to All India Radio (AIR) here.

The previous Congress Government had provided Rs 100 crore food subsidy to over 14 lakh ration card holders through fair price shops across the state and about Rs 150 crore subsidy on power to domestic consumers.

Mr Dhumal said his government would make all efforts possible to provide succour to the weaker sections of the society who had been ignored by the previous Congress Government.

''All policies and programmes that directly benefit the common man will not be revised, while that are against the interests of the state and benefit a few individuals only, will be rescinded,'' he added.

Replying to a question on his cabinet expansion, he said the new Cabinet would be formed soon and due representation would be provided to all sections of the society, castes and regions.

Asserting that his government would not tolerate corruption in the state, he said he had already announced ''zero tolerance'' and the guilty, whosoever it may be, would not be spared.

However, the practice of acting on anonymous letters would be discontinued, while strict action would be taken in cases where charges were made with documentary evidence, he said.

The Chief Minister said his government would initiate steps to boost tourism sector in Himachal to provide employment to the educated unemployed youth, whose numbers had swelled to over seven lakh.

The state government would do its best to provide employment to the educated youth who were without jobs, he added.


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