To woo Rajasthan voters, Cong promises farm loan waiver, unemployment allowance

Jaipur: The Congress party on Thursday announced farm loan waiver, Goods and Services Tax (GST)-free agriculture equipment, allowance to educated unemployed youths, Right to Health Bill, and Accountability Bill among a slew of other promises in its manifesto if the party wins the Rajasthan assembly polls, scheduled for December 7.

Rajasthan Pradesh Congress Committee (RPCC) president Sachin Pilot, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot released the manifesto in the presence of other party leaders. “Our manifesto is not just a document, but a commitment. Its implementation will ensure holistic development of the state,” said Pilot, while releasing the manifesto called ‘Jan Ghoshna Patra.’

“The Congress will waive off farmers’ loan once the party forms the government in the state. The farm equipment will be freed from the GST,” he said, adding that old farmers would get the pension. He also promised to set up ‘Gauchar Bhumi Board,’ which will ensure that cows have enough grazing land in the state.

Not only loan waiver and GST relief, but the Congress manifesto also promise easy loans at affordable rates for farmers along with better storage and warehouse facilities, agro-processing training centers and effective agriculture marketing system and timely purchase of crops as per their minimum support prices (MSP).

The manifesto also lays emphasis on further developing dairy, animal husbandry, irrigation, and co-operation sector in the state.

With a view to empowering girls in a holistic manner, the Congress leader said, “Our government, if formed, will bear the entire education expenses of girls.” “We will finance their entire education,” he added. The school and college girls will also get a free sanitary napkin. “If the Congress comes to power, our government will launch an all-women 24×7 helpline for women’s safety,” said Pilot.

In an attempt to give a boost to human capital, the Congress manifesto visualizes total quality education to all children for which a new Education Policy has been promised. “Nearly 20,000 schools closed during the BJP rule will be re-opened. Girl hostels in all panchayats will be set up. One high school in the headquarters of every village panchayat,” promises the manifesto, while talking about setting up of education hub and district education zone (DEZ).

The pilot said that unemployed educated youths would get Rs 3,500 as monthly allowance. “We will also give jobs to them and easy loans so that they set up their own businesses,” he said, while the students will get free travel facility to appear in the examination. The manifesto lays special emphasis on promoting informal and traditional sectors through the formation of self-help groups (SHGs).

“If the Congress is voted to power, we will make college and university curriculum industry-friendly. We will also form a board for the workers of the unorganised sector so that they are taken care of in a better manner,” he said.
The other important promises in the manifesto include 24×7 power supply to all villages, hassle-free potable water supply, road connectivity to all villages, the road over bridges and road under bridges, closing of mining affecting people’s health, boost to the industry by framing a job-oriented Industrial Policy, promotion e-governance and protection of environment.

In order to give a new dimension to urban development, the Congress manifesto promises to work on dedicated parking areas, affordable houses for those living in slums, setting up of new markets and shopping centers and total sanitation, which will also give a new feel to the tourists. The Congress has mooted ‘Tourism Development Yojana’ to further expand the state’s tourism sector if the party is voted to power.

“For promoting sports, the Congress will frame a new Sports policy, apart from constructing indoor and outdoor stadiums,” said Pilot. The manifesto also promises to address the problem of malnutrition among children, destitute and specially-abled children, special initiatives for Muslim women, OBCs, Dalits, tribal and other vulnerable sections of the society.

The pilot said the BJP should apologize to the people of the state for not fulfilling its promises. “The BJP, which kept the people jobless for five years, is now talking about the allowance to them,” he said. “We will bring the Accountability Bill within 30 days of coming to power,” he said. “We will also bring a Bill for the right to health,” added the RPCC president.

The pilot, also a former Union Minister, said the Congress manifesto was based on the people’s suggestions. “It is the people’s thought, which is embodied in the manifesto and not that of the Congress. We ascertained the views and suggestions of 2 lakh people on different digital platforms before finalizing the manifesto,” he added.