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Crackdown on drugs & corruption, debt waiver, new industrial policy in 90 days key highlights of Punjab Congress manifesto

Promises to end VIP culture, bring sweeping economic reforms & total transparency in governance

Web Admin

Web Admin

5 Dariya News

New Delhi , 09 Jan 2017

In an effort to redeem Punjab’s lost honour and to restore it to its rightful place in the country, the Punjab Congress manifesto promises to free the state and its people from the oligarchic shackles of the Badal government on the state’s resources, marked by widespread corruption, lawlessness, mafia rule and nepotism linked with the Badals, while vowing to bring in total transparency in governance as well as all financial and political systems through innovative initiatives and out-of-the-box measures.Taking off from the 9-point agenda released recently by Captain Amarinder Singh, the manifesto bundles together the party’s promises to address the concerns of every section of the society, and lists down several concrete initiatives to rescue the state and its people from the dismal abyss into which they have been plunged by the SAD-BJP government.A crackdown on drugs and other mafias, a series of wide-ranging new legislations to control important administrative and legal functions, time-bound steps to bolster employment and revive agriculture and industry, ending of VVIP culture, bringing the marginalized and minorities back into the societal mainstream, are the key highlights of the 120-page manifesto, released by world renowned economist and former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on Monday in New Delhi, with simultaneous release in six key cities of Punjab by senior party leaders. 

Offering the Congress as the only hope for the beleaguered people of Punjab, and saying the party is for Punjab – yesterday, today and tomorrow, the manifesto underlines the party’s key objective “to redeem Punjab’s honour economically, socially, culturally, financially, environmentally, and to restore Punjab to her rightful place in India.”From the beleaguered farming and industrial communities to Dalits, OBCs and SCs, from youth to women (who get 33% reservation in all government jobs with free education for girls), the manifesto has something for every individual citizen of Punjab, who has been suffering for the past 10 years under the Badal misrule.The manifesto also addressed, in detail, issues concerning government employees, education institutions and teachers, healthcare system and the media.The party is committed to bringing in financial and economic reforms to put growth back on track through elimination of mafia in matters of excise, fee, auction etc. 

Debt waiver for the farmers and a new industrial policy within 90 days of government formation are other important measures listed in the manifesto to facilitate the state’s progress. Legislative and police reforms are also high on the manifesto agenda.Transparency is the key to the Punjab Congress governance agenda for the state and to this end, the party will make it mandatory for all MLAs to make their salaries, allowances etc public online, with MPs and MLAs required to mandatorily declare their immoveable properties every year on the floor of the state assembly. A zero tolerance police against corruption will be stringently followed. All government expenditure will be subjected to third party audit.The party will also bring out a White Paper exposing SAD-BJP claims on governance, development and financial situation of the state, while reconstituting the Governance Reforms Commission as Governance Reforms and Ethics Commission (GREC).


The key highlights of the manifesto include:


Ending VIP culture

·      Abolishing red beacon lights except on emergency vehicles

·      90% cut in security personnel for politicians and officials

·      2-year ban on foreign travel except where mandatory

·      Medical insurance to reduce financial burden on government


Punjab river water for people of the state only

·      No new canal construction, including SYL, to be allowed

·      Intra-state river water distribution & infrastructure to be strengthened


War against drugs

·      Zero tolerance policy for smugglers, peddlers, police officials, politicians, bureaucrats or public indulging in drug trafficking

·      Fast-track courts to try out NDPS Act cases

·      Confiscation of Drug Dealers Property Act within 30 days of assuming power

·      Review of cases registered against drug users

·      Vigorous campaign to educate the young

·      Compassionate free rehabilitation with skill training initiatives at de-addiction centres

·      Closure of 5% liquor vends every year


Employment generation

·      Shaheed Bhagat Singh Employment Generation scheme for youth

·      One lakh taxis, commercial and other vehicles per year to be provided to unemployed youth at subsidized rates

·      25000 tractors with other tools for unemployed youth

·      Job in every household through creation of new jobs over 5 years

·      Compulsory recruitment of local youth by industrial investors

·      Establishment of employment bureaus manned by qualified professionals

·      Unemployment allowance of Rs 2500 per month till job provided to those registered with the bureaus

·      Incentives to use smart digital technology


Industry & Trade

·      Revival of existing industrial units

·      Setting up of industrial urban corridor between Amritsar & Chandigarh along GT Road axis and along Hoshiarpur-Gurdaspur Road

·      Creation of new land bank for industrial development

·      Electricity tariff for industry to be frozen at Rs 5/unit for next 5 year

·      Enhancement of industrial development fund to Rs. 1000 crore & special budgetary allocation for industrial development

·      Special provisions to strengthen hosiery industry etc.

·      Development of sports goods industry with a new focal point exclusively in Jalandhar and an exclusive R&D centre

·      Special measures to promote rice shelling industry, including elimination of inspector raj, action against the guilty in bardana scam, release of transportation charges immediately on getting FCI receipt

·      Waiver of minimum monthly charges for ginning industry to promote cotton industry

·      Promotion of Beopar (trade) by withdrawing advance tax and special cells to redress their grievances, robust insurance scheme


Agriculture & Allied Occupations

·      Karza Maufi – loan waiver

·      Continuation of free power to farmers

·      New law to prevent sale and kurki of farmers’ land by lending agencies

·      Farmers’ pension scheme raising ex-gratia to families of suicide victims to Rs. 10 lakh

·      Increase in crop compensation, crop insurance


Dalits, OBCs & Minorities

·      Free house or 5 marla land to homeless families in these categories with annual income less than Rs. 5 lakh

·      Strict enforcement of SC reservation in govt jobs, job for at least one person in every SC family

·      Increase in govt job reservation for OBCs from 12% to 15%

·      OBC reservation in educational institutions to be doubled (from 5 to 10%)

·      Waiver of loan for minorities for self employment activities



·      6% of state GDP on development of education

·      Regularization of all contractual teachers and redressal of teachers’ grievances

·      33% seats in government run colleges with free education for poor/meritorious/SC/OBC students


Women Empowerment

·      33% reservation for women in all Government Jobs including contractual appointments

·      Increase representation of women in PRIs and ULBs from 33% to 50%

·      Free education for girls for Class I to PhD

·      Crisis Centres in all districts to help women affected by domestic violence

Initiatives for healthcare, tourism, rural and urban development, special relief package for border areas with 3% reservation in government jobs for residents living within 30 kms of international border, free and fair grant of licences in transport, promotion of sports, a comprehensive policy for NRI grievance redressal, recognition to real estate as infrastructure industry and regularization of colonies or or before 31.3. 2013 are among the other highlights of the manifesto.The manifesto further promises extensive power reforms in the state, infrastructure development, environment protection, promotion of Punjabiat, along with measures for cooperatives, street vendors, labourers, safai karamcharis, pensioners and senior citizens. Jewellers and defence personnel, as well as lambardars, chowkidars, FPS/ration depot holders and aided school teachers also have something to cheer for in the manifesto.


Tags: Dr Manmohan Singh , Amarinder Singh



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