The Indian National Congress on Tuesday released its poll manifesto ahead of the 2019 general elections. Here are some of the promises the party has made in the document.
— Congress (@INCIndia) April 2, 2019
“All of the 4 lakh vacancies as on 1 April 2019 in the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Judiciary and Parliament will be filled before the end of March 2020. Congress will request State Governments to fill all vacancies, estimated at 20 lakh, in the 2 sectors and in local bodies.”
“Poorest 20% of families to be guaranteed a cash transfer of Rs. 72,000 a year each; money to be transferred to the account of a woman of the family; estimated cost will be <1% of GDP in Year 1 and <2% of GDP in Year 2 and thereafter.
“Congress promises to enact the Direct Taxes Code in the first year of government; review and replace the current GST laws with the GST 2.0 regime based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax; abolish the e-way bill.”
“Will scrap the opaque Electoral Bond Scheme that was designed to favour the ruling party; set up a National Election Fund to which any person may make a contribution; promise that 50% of EVMs will be matched against VVPATs.”
Laws, rules and regulations
“Congress promises to decriminalise defamation and sedition; amend laws that allow detention without trial; pass Prevention of Torture Act; amend ASFPA; institute comprehensive prison reforms.”
“Will enforce anti-corruption laws without discrimination; will investigate several deals entered into by the BJP Government in the last 5 years and, in particular, the Rafale deal.”
“Will scrap Niti Aayog and constitute a Planning Commission with re-defined responsibilities.”
Agriculture and farm labour
“Congress promises to waive the outstanding farm loans: introduce a separate ‘Kisan Budget’; re-design the BJP government’s failed Fasal Bima Yojana (Crop Insurance Scheme); double the funding in 5 years for teaching, R&D, agriculture-related pure sciences and applied science and technology in the agricultural sector; resotre the original Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the Forest Rights Act.”
“Congress promises to launch MGNREGA 3.0, which will ncrease the guaranteed days of employment up to 150 days; connect all villages and habitations with a population of 250 with a road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana; pass the Right to Homestead Act to provide a homestead for every household that does not own a home or own land.”
“Will provide for reservation of 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 to be enforced effectively; repeal any provision of law that prohibits night shifts for women; comprehensive review of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces Act, 2013; establish a separate investigative agency to investigate heinous crimes against women and children.”
“Congress promises to achieve the target of 3% of GDP by 2020-21 and remain under that limit; achieve a savings level of 40% of GDP and a Gross Capital Formation level of 35% of GDP; bring every Fortune 500 company to set up a business in India; withdraw Angel Tax.
“Congress promises to increase the share of India’s manufacturing sector from the current level of 16%of GDP to 25% within a period of 5 years and to make India a manufacturing hub for the world.”
Public infrastructure and urban policy
“Congress promises to modernise all outdated railway infrastructure; formulate a comprehensive policy on Urbanisation; Right to Housing for the urban poor and protection from arbitrary eviction; introduce a new model of governance for towns and cities through a directly elected mayor with a fixed term of 5 years, an elected Council and a separate administrative structure for each urban body.”
“Will ensure defence spending is increased to meet requirements of the Armed Forces; evolve suitable policies to address data security, cyber security, financial security, communication security; rapidly expand domestic capacity to manufacture defence and security equipment.
“Congress promises to establish a National Council on Foreign Policy; re-double the efforts to win for permanent membership India in the UNSC and the Nuclear Suppliers Group; significantly increase the size of the Foreign Service.”