Presenting the Budget for 2022-23 in the state Assembly, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur on Friday announced to increase monthly old-age pension amount from Rs 1,001 to Rs 1,500.

Presenting his fifth and last budget of the current government, Thakur also announced to decrease the age limit from 70 years to 60 years for availing such pension, without any income limit.

Thakur, who also hold the state’s finance portfolio, also announced to increase the Member of Legislative Assembly Local Area Development Scheme (MLALAD) fund from the existing Rs 1.80 crore to Rs 2 crore.

The MLALAD fund has been increased by Rs 20 lakh in the Budget, which is the last one before the next Assembly elections scheduled to be held in December.

Thakur stated that a total of Rs 90 lakh increase had been made in the MLALAD fund during his government.

The chief minister also announced to increase the discretionary grant for MLAs from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 12 lakh per annum for the next fiscal.

On the health sector, the chief minister declared to create 500 new posts for doctors in the state.

Thakur announced that a provision would be made whereby the Himcare Card for availing free health services for various ailments will be required to be renewed after three years instead of every year.

Honorarium for Mayor, Deputy Mayor and councilors in municipal corporations has been increased from Rs 12,000 to Rs 15,000, from Rs 8,500 to Rs 10,000 and from Rs 5,050 to Rs 6,050 per month, respectively, he added.

He announced that Sardar Patel University in the Mandi district would start functioning in April 2022.

Thakur also announced to construct 1000 new Anganwadi Bhawans in the state.

A total of 789 plans from NABARD worth Rs 3,200 crore was approved during the five-year tenure of the previous Congress government, whereas that during the current government stood at Rs 3,452 crore for 826 plans, he added.

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