Chandigarh: The Haryana Government today decided to give status of Cabinet Minister to Ramdev, who has been appointed as the State's brand ambassador to promote yoga and ayurveda.
"Ramdev will be given status equivalent to Cabinet Minister. This decision was taken at a meeting of Ministers which was presided over by the Chief Minister here today," Haryana's Health and Sports Minister, Anil Vij told PTI.
"We have taken the decision. Notification in this regard will be issued later," he said.
Official sources said that those granted "status equivalent to cabinet minister" are not entitled to salary and allowances payable to a legislator sworn-in as a cabinet minister.
They are, however, entitled to protocol facilities, including escort and state guest status at official rest houses.
The Haryana Assembly had last month witnessed uproarious scenes with the BJP government coming under attack from opposition Congress for allegedly "going out of the way to please Ramdev by making him the brand ambassador" for promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda in the state.
Vij said, "We will be signing an MoU with the Patanjali Yogpeeth in a day or two". Among other things, the MoU is likely to go into details on how to implement the state government's plans to promote yoga and ayurveda.
Chief Minister Manohar lal Khattar said Ramdev has made "special contribution" in propagating the benefits of yoga.
"With a view to educate people about yoga, we have taken this step and made him the brand ambassador. There is nothing more to say on this. Yoga has got a special status in the world."
Yoga would be made a compulsory subject in Haryana's schools for which yogshalas would be constructed in all the towns and about 6500 villages of the state under the guidance of Ramdev, Vij said.
"Yoga will be made a compulsory subject in Haryana schools, even if it means that we have to frame a law for the purpose," he said.
"Zero period in all schools of Haryana would be yoga period and the PT teachers would have to undergo a training in yoga under the guidance of the yoga guru," he said.
"We will also consult Ramdev on the kind of programmes which we shoud be having for June 21, which will be observed as International Yoga Day," he said.
A herbal forest would be developed in the State where plants of thousands of species of ayurvedic herbs would be
grown under the supervision of Ramdev.
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