BHUBANESHWAR: In a determined bid to return to power after 19 years, Congress on Sunday released its manifesto for Odisha with promises for all sections of people including farm loan waiver and minimum support price (MSP) of Rs 2600 for paddy.
Releasing the manifesto at the Congress Bhavan here, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik said it has been prepared after months of consultation and discussion with all stakeholders. “It is a comprehensive document which covers all aspects of Odisha and represents people from every walk of life,” he said.
The manifesto promises Rs 10,000 per year special assistance for three years and assures to give sharecroppers their rights.
Giving guarantee of a monthly income of Rs 6000 per month for 20 per cent of the poorest under Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), the manifesto which has 19 key points promises a job to a member of every family in the state and a monthly allowance of Rs 3000 for the jobless.
Stating that all contractual workers will be regularised, the manifesto also announces land for every landless family and shelter for every homeless by 2024. Other promises include monthly pension of Rs 1500 for senior citizens and Rs 2000 for widows.]
Following Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik’s initiative for the empowerment of women, Congress also promises 33 per cent quota for women in Parliament, state assembly and all government jobs. Promising free education for women at all levels and marriage assistance to the needy family, the manifesto said Anganwadi workers will be regularised with a salary of Rs 9000 per month.
In a bid to placate the tribals, the manifesto announced that all forest offence cases against them will be dropped and promised full implementation of PESA Act, 1996. Besides, gram sabhas will be entrusted with the responsibility to manage forests, it said.
Patnaik announced that the Right To Education (RTE) Act will be extended to cover class XII. Besides, 20 per cent of the state budget will be earmarked for education. Exclusive dalit protection cells and special courts will be set up in every district, he said and added that manual scavenging will be abolished. Teachers will be given salary on a par with central pay scales, he said.
Stating that the public health care system will be revamped on a priority basis, the manifesto promised to fill up all vacancies of doctors and nurses in Odisha. The health budget will be increased, it said and added that every district will have a medical college and a training centre for paramedics and nurses.
Promising universal food security, the Congress said that there will be subsidised ration for all. Every village and urban household will have access to drinking water by 2024, it said and added that an Integrated Coastline Development Policy will be formulated to harness the potential of Odisha’s coastline. Besides, small and medium enterprises, agro-based industries and creative vocations -- tourism, textiles, art and handicrafts will be promoted aggressively, it said.
The manifesto announced that the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Gurantee Act (MGNREGA) will be revamped with higher wages and 150 days of guaranteed employment. “Our aim is to end distress migration by 2024,” Patnaik said.
Patnaik said reports of all pending judicial inquiries will be made public and victims of chit fund scam will be refunded within six months of Congress coming to power in the state.