Tribune News Service
Shimla, June 11
Himachal Cabinet has decided to continue imposing curfew even after June 14, although with several relaxations—a development that comes as the state continues to report declining infections.
A cabinet meeting that Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur chaired decided to allow shops to keep open from 9 am to 5 pm and intrastate transport to resume. The state will also do away with the requirement of a mandatory RT-PCR report for entering the state.
Shops however must close down on weekends.
Offices with over 75 people could function at 50 per cent strength.
All the medical, ayurvedic, and dental colleges will open on June 23, and pharmacy and nursing schools will open on June 28.
Intrastate public transport must have no more 50 per cent of its seating capacity.
Curfew restrictions will continue to be imposed from 5 pm to 5 am.
In a significant decision, the Cabinet provided relief of about Rs 40 crore to the transport sector, one of the worst-hit sectors by the pandemic. The relief would include an Interest Subvention Scheme on working capital for stage carriage operators, under which a loan amount of Rs 2 lakh per bus with an upper limit of Rs 20 lakh would be provided to the bus operators as working capital.
The duration of the loan would be five 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. About Rs 11 crore relief has been provided by the government on this scheme.
The Cabinet also provided much-needed relief to owners of stage carriages, taxis, 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 cabinet decided to provide 50 percent relief on Special Road Tax and Token Tax during the period of three months from April 1, 2021, to June 30, 2021. This decision would provide relief of Rs eight crore to stage carriages, taxis, maxi, autorickshaws, contract carriage buses, and institution buses.