News items are 'planned' regarding dropping of two ministers: HP CM

Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today reacted sharply to reports in a section of media that the two cabinet ministers are being dropped and dubbed the reports as totally false, planned and mischievous.

PTI| Last Updated: Aug 28, 2014, 23:20 PM IST

Shimla: Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh today reacted sharply to reports in a section of media that the two cabinet ministers are being dropped and dubbed the reports as totally false, planned and mischievous.

"The news regarding destabilising the state government were being knowingly published in certain newspapers for the past some time which is condemnable, he said, adding, few people, including few frustrated BJP leaders, were trying to create a situation by airing baseless issues to spread a message as if?every thing was not well in the government.

He asserted that the Congress government in the state was totally stable and strong and is working hard for the welfare of the people. He added that since the formation of BJP government at the Centre, the state BJP leaders were indulging in malicious propaganda to destabilise the democratically-elected state government.

Meanwhile, an official spokesman today defended the appointment of chairpersons and vice chairpersons, saying the news items appearing in a section of press in this regard that it was a burden on the state exchequer are baseless.

The spokesperson of Finance Department clarified that the appointments of the chairmen and vice chairmen of the Boards and Corporation and in the state government was a routine activity done by every government in the power and there was nothing new about these appointments.

He clarified that the chairman or vice chairman were being paid an honorarium of Rs 15,000 per month and the existing staff was deployed with them and as such the additional expenditure was minimal on these appointees.

He further informed that the total budget expenditure of the state in the current financial year was estimated at Rs 23,613 crore and the expenditure on chairmen or vice chairmen was so meagre that it can hardly impact the finances of the state.

The major expenditure of the state was on salaries and pensions which was Rs 7,650 crore and Rs 3,450 crore while the cost of interest payment was estimated at Rs 2,750 crore during 2014-15. He said that the state government was always committed to welfare of its employees and has released two instalments of Dearness allowance which was calculated at 20 per cent, during the current financial year alone.

These instalments would put a burden of Rs 1,160 crore annually on the state exchequer, he added.