The Himachal Pradesh Cabinet has decided to withdraw all "politically-motivated" cases filed during the previous Congress dispensation, including those against the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) led by BJP MP Anurag Thakur. The Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, also decided to wind up Himachal Pradesh Beverages Limited (HPBL) set up last year to handle liquor trade. It decided to review all cases registered during the erstwhile Congress dispensation and withdraw those that "smack of political vendetta". Any decision in such cases would be taken on the basis of merit. The cases over land allocation to the HPCA attained political significance as it was headed by Anurag Thakur and the decision to allot land was taken when his father Prem Kumar Dhumal was the chief minister. The Cabinet also decided to wind up Himachal Pradesh Beverages Limited (HPBL) set up last year to eliminate wholesalers and handle the liquor trade. The BJP, while in the opposition, criticised the decision of the government and alleged irregularities in procurement and sale of liquor. The government also decided to initiate inquiry into losses suffered by the government after the move. The previous government had suspended licences issued to wholesalers and designated HPBL as sole agency for procurement and sale of liquor to retail vends. The Cabinet also decided to fix the responsibility on officers, responsible for the creation of HPBL and revert to the old policy. The cabinet also gave its nod to disengage the counsels including Kapil Sibal, P Chidambaram and Salman Khurshid for representing the state in various cases, including those against the HPCA. The Cabinet has sought a report on whose direction a huge fee was paid to the advocates to represent the state. The cabinet also decided to remove all the additional and assistant Advocate Generals appointed by the previous government and appoint a committee for selecting the new appointees. The Cabinet also decided to increase the procurement price of citrus fruit such as kinnow, malta, galgal and oranges under the Market Intervention Scheme.
The procurement price for kinnow, malta, and oranges for the B category will be Rs 7 per kilogram and for C category Rs 6.50. For galgal, the procurement price will be Rs 5.50 per kg.
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