M A I N   N E W S

Cong mulls target for growth, jobs
Draft manifesto aims at 8% growth
Wants no-aversion policy for foreign investment
Aditi Tandon
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 25
The Congress is all set to unveil a 100-day agenda for growth in its 2014 Lok Sabha Election draft manifesto to be released tomorrow. The party is projecting itself as a “natural choice” of the people of India.

On fresh list

Ravneet Bittu
Ravneet Bittu

Mohinder Kaypee
Mohinder Kaypee
pur SC
ary Santokh Singh

Top Guns

sudan Mistry

Ashok Chavan
Ashok Chavan

Describing the poll battle as one between its “secular liberal nationalism” and BJP’s narrow-minded communalism, the Congress draft manifesto (a draft copy is with The Tribune) starts with a chapter on why people should choose the Congress over the BJP.

Rejecting BJP as its principal opposition, the Congress says, “While the BJP has positioned itself as the main political rival of the Congress, the Congress rejects this presumptuous posturing as the BJP is not even present in large parts of India.”

The party celebrates its 10-year rule congratulating both Congress president Sonia Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh and adds: “The UPA period witnessed the fastest and more inclusive growth than any other period in India’s history.” It earlier lauds its past PMs, including PV Narasimha Rao who has seldom been acknowledged in Congress circles. Striking at the BJP and its PM candidate Narendra Modi, the draft manifesto says: “We envision India united by compassion and not power, living in harmony and not hatred; filled with humility, not hubris.” For the future, the Congress acknowledges revival of economic growth to 8 per cent as its top priority for the next five years. To achieve this, the draft manifesto lays down 100-day agenda for growth to be powered by the passage of Goods and Services Tax Bill in Parliament and its enactment by January 1, 2015. Stressing to contain fiscal deficit at 3 per cent of the GDP, the draft manifesto focuses on foreign investments hinting at more opening up of economy under UPA-III.

“Since we will run a CAD every year for some years, it can only be financed through foreign investments, be it foreign direct investment or foreign institutional investment. There is no room for aversion to foreign investment,” the draft manifesto says. To facilitate reform, the manifesto promises a National Investment Facilitation Authority, a permanent body headed by the Prime Minister with the explicit mandate of identifying delayed projects, resolving inter-ministerial issues to enable rapid and transparent approvals to large projects, especially in the infrastructure sector.

It also proposes a law for setting up National Environmental Appraisal and Monitoring Authority to conduct rigorous and time-bound environmental appraisals and recommend environmental clearances for projects. The moves come at a time when India’s investment climate has been globally questioned.

There is another proposal to create a Regulatory Reform Task Force for review of all regulatory processes of central government ministries with the intent of repealing unnecessary processes and improving the ease of doing business in India.

The agenda promises to create 100 million jobs for the youth by 2020 and under this head a major target is “improving India’s Ease of Doing Business ranking from the current 134 to 75 within five years by streamlining the process for starting a business, getting permits, easing access to credit and streamlining tax enforcement system”.

The manifesto admits that given several claimants to subsidies, “we must choose subsidies that are absolutely essential and give these to the ones absolutely deserving”.

Acknowledging that two-thirds of Indians (80 crore) are below 35 years of age, creating jobs would be important, the Congress promises 100 new urban clusters around existing small and emerging cities to boost economic activities and job generation.

What the draft document says


With high growth there will be moderate inflation. RBI must strike a balance between price stability and growth while formulating monetary policy.


Raise health expenditure to 3 pc of GDP; enact a law to ensure universal health coverage; 5 state of art diagnostic vans per district; improvement of institutional delivery from 50 to 80 pc by 2020; reduction of MMR from 212 to 100 per one lakh live births by 2020; improve child sex ratio from 914 to 980 per 1000 boys by 2020


Law on agriculture risk protection increasing coverage of crop insurance schemes from 25 to 50 pc; increase in credit from 40 to 60 pc


50 pc of total police officers: sub inspectors, constables in all police stations to be women; Citizens Charter for Women's Safety to be brought; One stop crisis centre in all hospitals for medical, legal aid to sexual assault victims; Land rights for single women and women headed households; women police stations to be raised from 500 to 2000

Vadodara candidate opts out

Congress nominee for the Vadodara Lok Sabha seat Narendra Ravat on Tuesday opted out of contest against BJP's Gujarat CM Narendra Modi.




HOME PAGE | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Opinions |
| Business | Sports | World | Letters | Chandigarh | Ludhiana | Delhi |
| Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |