Himachal Pradesh government has given its nod for taking over the Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) medical college at Ner Chowk in Mandi district, a senior official said here.
The matter was hanging fire for about two years as the Union Labour Ministry had refused to run the Medical college and asked the state government to take over the buildings and other infrastructure developed by it but Himachal Government was not ready to pay interest on liabilities amounting Rs 285 crore.
The Labour ministry was pressing the government to pay 10 per cent interest on liability of Rs 285 crore but the state government not only wanted the interest to be waives off but also put a condition that the amount would be paid in five instalment.
However, the Centre agreed to the terms set by the state government at a meeting held recently and it was agreed that the amount would be paid in five instalments with payment of first instalment in 2017-18 after the first batch of 100 MBBS seats was admitted, additional chief Secretary (health), Vineet Chowdhary said.
The state government assured that the admission for first batch of MBBS with 100 seats would start from 2017-18 and there would be no deviation from terms and conditions agreed to by both the governments, Chowdhary added.
The state government agreed that a representative of the ministry would be in the Board of management of the college and some seats would be reserved for children of ESIC employees.
The campus of the medical college spread over an area of 31 acres had been build at estimated cost of Rs 800 crore and the college was to become functional and start admission to MBBS courses from 2014-15 but the matter was shelved as Labour ministry took a stand that running medical colleges was not its mandate and matter kept hanging for nearly two years.
With ESIC medical college becoming functional in 2017-18, state would have seven medical colleges in government sector including an AIIMS at Bilaspur and four medical colleges at Nahan, Hamirpur, Chamba and Ner Chowk(Mandi) .
Besides, two medical colleges namely IGMC and Tanda Medical College with 100 seats each are already functional in the state.