Himachal Pradesh on Monday decided to extend its agreement with Power Trading Corporation (PTC) to trade states surplus power in the market by another year. The agreement was to expire on October 31. A decision to this effect was taken in a cabinet meeting presided over by Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
The PTC will be trading Himachals entitled free and equity share of the power in all existing and upcoming hydro projects. The cabinet authorized principal secretary (power) to execute the agreement on behalf of the government with the agency. The PTC will ensure 100 per cent scheduling of power with take or pay liability and obtain the most competitive price, a government release said.
The PTC has also been asked to take upon itself the payment obligation of the state government towards SJVNL for equity power as well as payment of long term and short term open access charges.
Himachal sells nearly 800 MW of power at variable rates. This includes power available as 12 per cent share of royalty from the projects located in the state.
In another major decision,the cabinet approved to notify the revised minimum wage to the labourers working in the private sector under Minimum Wages Act,1948 .The wage has been increased from Rs 110 to Rs 120,bringing the private sector daily wagers at par with the labourers working in government sector.
The cabinet also decided to enhance honorarium (Samman Rashi) of the freedom fighters in the state from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 per month. It also decided to formulate a scheme to honour the government officers and officials engaged in construction activities of various projects for achieving the completion target of the projects ahead of the schedule.
In the revenue administration,the cabinet also approved to decentralize the powers under Himachal Pradesh Village Common Lands Vesting and Utilization Act,1974. It will authorize all the district collectors (DCs) to change the pool of land vested in the state government.