Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur inaugurated National Saras Fair-2018 being organised by the State Rural Development department at police ground, Dharamshala in Kangra district.
Speaking on the occasion, he said that it was during his tenure as Rural Development and Panchayati Raj Minister that Saras fair was celebrated in the State and it was for the first time that this fair was being celebrated in Dharamshala. The main objective to organise the Saras fair was to provide an opportunity to various self-help groups to sell their products directly to the buyers without any middlemen. He said that the State Government was working with the motto Sabka Kalyan-Sabka Vikas-Sabka Saath.
The Chief Minister said that it was not even possible to think of development without development of rural areas and the state government thus was giving special thrust on development of rural areas. He said that in order to provide better marketing facilities to sell the products produced by self-help groups of rural areas, efforts were being made to provide better marketing facilities.
He also launched Mukhya Mantri Yuva Ajivika Yojna on the occasion for empowerment of the youth by providing them incentives to start their self employed ventures in trade/shops, restaurants, tour operators, adventure tourism, traditional handicrafts etc.
The Chief Minister said that this ambitious scheme would cover all the Himachali youth in the age group of 18 to 35 years and the eligible youth would be provided 25 percent subsidy on loan up to Rs. 30 lakh taken from banks. Apart from it, interest subsidy of 5 percent would also be provided on the loan amount for the period of three years. The subsidy would be 30 per cent in case of women entrepreneurs. He said that the State Government has earmarked a budget of Rs. 75 crore for the current financial year under the scheme.
The Chief Minister released logo of Jan Manch and ‘Namaste Dharamshala’ booklet for the benefit of the tourists besides the guidelines of Mukhya Mantri Yuva Ajivika Yojna.
Jai Ram Thakur said that the present state government was ensuring welfare and development of all areas of the state. He said that due to financial mismanagement by the previous government, the state was reeling under the financial burden of over Rs. 46,500 crores but due to the benevolence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the pace of development had gained momentum in the State. The state had also succeeded in getting sanctioned developmental projects worth Rs. 9000 crore for the state during a short period of about ten months. He said that the pervious state government opened educational and health institutions without any budgetary provisions.
The Chief Minister said that the Smart City was a gift of Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the people of Kangra district and efforts would be made to expedite the work on this project.
He said that the construction work of the Central University would be completed soon and foundation stone would be laid at Dharamshala and Dehra on the same day. A cement plant would also be established in Chamba district. He said that efforts would be made to attract investors to the state and an investor’s meet would be held during the month of February next year most likely at Dharamshala.
The Chief Minister also launched Mukhya Mantri Lok Bhawan Yojana for the state under which community houses would be constructed in all the Vidhan Sabha segments by spending an amount of Rs. 30 lakh to facilitate the people in organising various social events. He released first instalment of Rs. 20 lakh to BDOs of some development blocks on the occasion.
He was presented two cheques of Rs. 51,000 each towards the Chief Ministers Relief Fund and Kerala flood victims by teachers of government girl’s senior secondary school, Dharamshala.
Jai Ram Thakur also provided assistance to several beneficiaries of different schemes.
Food and Civil Supplies Minister Kishan Kapoor said that the present state government was committed to provide maximum employment and self employment opportunities to the youth of the state. The state government was providing free gas connections to all households so that Himachal Pradesh could become first state in the country to have smoke-free kitchen. He said that for the first time the price of pulses provided to the consumers had been reduced by Rs. 5 per kg. He said that the previous government politicised the issue of Central University, but the present government provided land for the same.
Rural Development and Panchayati Ram Minister Virender Kanwar said that the state had been ranked best in the country for effective implementation of Prime Minister Aawas Yojana. He said this national level fair being celebrated at Dharamshala was providing an apt platform for women self-help groups. He said that over ten states were participating in this national level fair. He thanked the Chief Minister for launching an ambitious self employment scheme for the youth of the state. He said that it was due to the visionary leadership of the Chief Minister that the state was poised to become the most developed state of the country.
Secretary, Rural Development Dr. R.N.Batta said the Saras Mela provides an opportunity to the rural women groups to exhibit and sell their products. He said that four such fairs would be celebrated in different parts of the state by the state government. He also detailed salient features of Mukhya Mantri Yuva Ajivika Yojana.
Urban Development Minister Sarveen Chaudhary, Health Minister Vipin Singh Parmar, Vice Chairman, GIC Manohar Dhiman, MLAs Rakesh Pathania, Rita Dhiman, Arun Mehra, Hoshiar Singh, Arjun Singh and Mulk Raj Premi, State BJP Mahila Morcha President Indu Goswami, former MLAs Dulo Ram and Sanjay Chaudhary, Deputy Commissioner Kangra Sandeep Kumar were present on the occasion among others.>