Odisha Congress Releases Manifesto For Elections 2019, Here Are The 19 Main Promises
**Bhubaneswar:** Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee released its election manifesto today ahead of the Assembly polls in the state. After months of consultations and conversations, the manifesto ‘Asiba Congress Hasiba Odisha’ was released by OPCC President Niranjan Patnaik and other senior Congress leaders. Here are the key promises made by the party:
**1. MINIMUM INCOME GUARANTEE— NYAY** Every family from the poorest 20% of the population will be guaranteed a minimum income of Rs 72,000/year (Rs 6,000/month); money to be given to the woman of the family.
** 2. EMPLOYMENT FOR ALL** One person in every family will have a job. The jobless will be entitled to an unemployment allowance of Rs 3000/month.
**3. REGULARISING WORK** All contractual workers in the public sector will be taken on regular service. There shall be no contractual employment in teaching, healthcare and social security services.
**4. LAND FOR THE LANDLESS, HOME FOR THE HOMELESS** A 5-year plan will be unveiled to provide homestead land to every landless family in a village and shelter for every urban homeless family.
**5. NEW DEAL FOR THE FARMERS**
* Crop loans up to Rs 2 lakh per family will be waived within the first 10 days of Congress government.
* Every farming family will get a special financial assistance of Rs 10,000 annually for the next three years.
* Guaranteed remunerative prices for all major farm and forest produce; Paddy to be bought at Rs 2,600/quintal.
* Access to irrigation, affordable electricity and seeds for all.
* Farmers above the age of 60 will be entitled to a monthly pension of Rs 1,500.
* Award of Rs 1 lakh – Krushak Samman Puraskar- for the most enterprising and innovative farmer in each of the 314 blocks of the state.
* Laws and policies will be amended to ensure sharecroppers get the same benefits as land-owning cultivators.
**6. WOMEN EMPOWERMENT**
* In addition to a quota of 33% in Parliament and state assembly, Congress will enforce 33% reservation in central and state government jobs.
* Free education at all levels and financial assistance to needy families for daughters marriage.
* Rs 2,000/month pension for widows and single women above 60 years.
* Anganwadi workers to be taken on regular service with a higher pay of Rs 9,000/month.
* An incubation fund of Rs 1 crore/block to support women entrepreneurs.
* Every police station to have a dedicated women desk to address violence against women.
**7. ADIVASI WELFARE**
* All forest offence cases except those involving criminal acts (IPC) will be withdrawn in the first 100 days of the new government.
* Management of forest resources will be vested with Gram Sabhas.
* No rejection of forest rights claim without approval of Gram Sabha.
* Fully Implementation of PESA Act 1996 within 100 days of the government.
* Odisha State Commission for STs will be set up to oversee development of adivasis and protect their rights.
**8. DALIT RIGHTS**
* Exclusive Dalit Protection cells and Special Courts in every district to expedite cases of atrocities.
* Manual scavenging will be abolished.
* Landless Dalits will get priority in land distribution
* Reserved vacancies in government jobs will be filled within a year.
* A dedicated financial corporation to promote and help Dalit entrepreneurs.
**9. SOCIAL SECURITY**
Congress will introduce a policy of positive discrimination for religious minorities, the differently-abled people and the transgender community, including reservation in government jobs, free shelter homes and relevant skill education at zero cost. Old-age pension will be increased to Rs 1,500 per month.
**10. NISAMUKTA ODISHA** A comprehensive and credible initiative to curb alcoholism be unveiled within 100 days of Congress government.
**11. TRANSFORMING EDUCATION**
* A comprehensive state education policy will be brought within a year
* Right to Education (RTE) will be extended upto Class XII
* Allocation for education will be raised to at least 20% of the budget
* Teachers in government schools, colleges and universities will be paid on par with Central Pay scales.
* A comprehensive program for teacher recruitment and training at every level.
* Institutions of excellence in forest management, fishery research, agro processing, tourism and tribal art and design will be set up.
* In institutions of higher learning (government or government-aided), a substantial number of seats will be reserved for domicile of Odisha.
**12. HEALTHCARE FOR ALL**
* Health budget will be increased to provide free diagnostics, medicines and surgery.
* Vacancies of doctors and nurses to be filled within a year, new positions wherever necessary will be created.
* Every district will have a medical college and a training centre for paramedics and nurses.
**13. FOOD SECURITY**
Public distribution system will be extended to provide subsidised ration to all households. It will also be expanded to include provision of dal, millets, edible oil, sugar and salt. Decentralised procurement and distribution will be encouraged. The anganwadl network and the mid day meal scheme will be strengthened.
**14. DRINKING WATER** By 2024, every household and every village will have access to piped water
**15. HARNESSING COASTLINE** An Integrated Coastline Development Policy will be brought to harness the true potential of Odisha’s long coastline to promote exports.
**16. SMART INDUSTRIES** Core emphasis will be on fostering small and medium enterprises that seek to leverage local skills and resources. Creative industries such as tourism, textiles, art and handicrafts and agro-based industries will be promoted. Labour-supporting, and not labour-displacing, technologies will be supported.
**17. HIGHER MGNREGA WAGES**
To support rural industries, a massive rural Infrastructure development programme will be launched. The MGNREGA program will be revamped with higher wages and 150 days of guaranteed employment. Congress’ aim is to end distress migration by 2024.
**18. ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNANCE**
If elected to power, Congress will expedite all pending judicial inquiries and present those findings (with ATRs) to the state assembly. Congress also promises a special legislation on the chit fund scam to identify its victims and ensure their principal deposits are refunded within six months.
**19. PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY**
Congress is committed to taking every stakeholder on board in formulating and executing its policies. Implementing the Panchayati Raj Act is Congress’ commitment.