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Himachal Pradesh govt eases restrictions

Himachal Pradesh govt eases restrictions
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Shimla: With significant drop in the cases, Himachal Pradesh on Friday decided to withdraw the condition of RTPCR test for entry to the state, allowing transport services and increased timing for opening of the markets from 9 am to 5 pm.

Earlier, the shops and business establishments were allowed only upto 2 pm.

The decision was taken in the meeting of the cabinet which was held under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur.

The cabinet also reviewed the Covid-19 situation in the state and noted improvements necessitating some relaxations.

"The Cabinet decided to increase the timing of opening of shops from 9 am to 5 pm from June 14 with Saturday and Sunday to remain closed.The offices will function with 50 percent of staff and all the medical colleges, ayurvedic colleges and dental colleges will also remain open from June 23," said a government spokesman.

Intrastate public transport would be allowed with 50 percent occupancy.

The government lifted section 144 CrPC but made it clear that those coming to the state from outside will still be required to get themselves registered and come only with an entry pass.

The Cabinet provided a relief of about Rs 40 crore to the transport sector, one of the worst hit sectors by the pandemic. This includes an Interest Subvention Scheme on working capital for stage carriage operators.

Under this, a loan amount of Rs 2 lakh per bus and maximum amount up to Rs 20 lakh would be provided to the bus operators as working capital. The duration of the loan would be 5 years, in which one year would be of moratorium period, there would be 75 percent interest subvention, which would be paid by the state government.

In the second year, there would be an interest subvention of 50-year which would be borne by the state government. About Rs 11 crore relief has been provided by the government on this scheme.

The Cabinet also provided much needed relief to Stage Carriage, Taxi, Maxi, Autorickshaw and Institution Buses by giving the relief of 50 per cent on payment of Special Road Tax and Token from August 1, 2020 to March 31, 2021. The Transport sector would get relief of about Rs 20 crore due to this decision.

The government also took a decision to provide 50 percent relief on Special Road Tax and Token Tax for the period of three months from April 1, 2021 to June 30, 2021.

This decision would provide relief of Rs 8 crore to stage carriages, taxis, maxi, autorickshaws, contract carriage buses and institution buses. This relief provided by the government to the transport sector during the critical period of Corona would benefit all the people of the State and would also prove to be a big help for the transport sector.

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