Shimla, Sep 6: The Himachal Government decided that medicines free of cost will be provided to all patients, irrespective of the income criteria under Indira Gandhi Free Medicines Scheme. The decision was taken at a Cabinet meeting chaired by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh here today. The decision has been taken in larger public interest with a proposal to include more medicines and consumables in the free drug policy of the state government under its public health programme.
A budgetary provision of Rs 71 crore has been made available for this and 330 free medicines and consumables would be provided to patients under this scheme.In yet another important decision taken with an eye on the Assembly elections, nod was given by the Cabinet to increase the honorarium of panchayat chowkidars from Rs 2,350 to Rs 3,050, an increase of Rs 700 per month in their monthly remuneration.
The Cabinet also decided that teachers appointed under PTA, whose services have not been taken on contract basis, may be allowed financial benefits, including annual increase as well as honorarium for vacation period. This was to be done on notional basis at par with their counterparts with effect from June 1, 2017.
The Cabinet also decided to grant retirement and death gratuity to New Pension System (NPS) employees from prospective date on terms and conditions as applicable to the employees covered under CCS (Pension) Rules, 1972 subject maximum limit of 25 years of qualifying services. The Cabinet gave approval to upgrade some Community Health Centres and many other health institutions.It was also decided to upgrade many primary, middle and high government schools.
The Cabinet approved filling of 110 vacant posts of Junior Office Assistant (IT) in Health and Family Welfare Department and 110 staff nurses for Pandit Jawahar Lal Nehru Government Medical College, Chamba. The Cabinet has decided to create 96 posts of foreman by upgrading the vacant posts of Pump Operators in Irrigation Department.