Laser-focus on farmers, youth, green economy

Congress releases poll manifesto

SHILLONG: The Congress party’s manifesto for the February 27 polls released by AICC general secretary CP Joshi on Saturday has promised the creation of 3 lakh jobs, seed capital assistance to around one lakh farmers and infrastructure development including roads and water supply.
However, one noteworthy feature of the 20-page document is the promise to enhance the sum of the insurance cover for the Meghalaya Health Insurance Scheme over and above the Rs 5 lakh cover for 10 crore poor households announced by the Central government in the Union budget.
The document, moreover, asserts that development would not be carried out at the cost of the environment and a clean and green economy would be the chief motto of economic growth in Meghalaya.
The manifesto, simultaneously released in Tura and Jowai, lays emphasis on making the cities more livable.
It highlights the government’s achievements in providing clean and transparent governance and lays emphasis on further measures  to strengthen a first-of-its-kind Social Audit Bill to enhance governmental accountability by setting a new benchmark.
The manifesto zeroes in on employment generation for the youth and promises to create 3,00,000 jobs in newly-created job spaces, thanks to the ongoing interventions in the livelihoods sector.
Special focus has been accorded to farmers and amongst the many initiatives proposed is a seed capital assistance to small and marginal farmers which is likely to benefit 4,00,000 farmers.
With the aim to bolster the education sector, the manifesto says 10 new private universities will come up under separate acts apart from a number of community colleges to cover the glaring gaps in the government’s effort to provide vocational education.
It promises a lump sum amount of Rs 15,000 as wedding assistance to orphaned girls.
On the contentious issue of corruption which the opposition parties have always used as a stick to beat the government with, the manifesto says the Congress government has introduced the Social Audit Act to ensure transparency and accountability and the office of the Lokayukta was constituted under the Meghalaya Lokayukta Act, 2014.

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