Stick to 'aam aadmi' plank: Cong to tell Pranab | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Stick to 'aam aadmi' plank: Cong to tell Pranab

delhi Updated: Jun 11, 2009 22:19 IST

Having returned to power on 'aam aadmi' plank, Congress is expected to ask Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to keep the focus of forthcoming union budget on the same common man.

Mukherjee, who will soon be interacting with Congress leaders as part of his pre-budget consultations, will be told to keep the promises for a better deal to youth, farmers and urban and rural poor.

The party is expected to ask the Finance Minister to build on the success of flagship programmes like NREGA and take it forward, AICC General Secretary Janardan Dwivedi said on Thursday.

NREGA and loan waiver for farmers proved to be one of the major reasons for the success of Congress in Lok Sabha elections.

As assembly elections in Maharashtra, Haryana and Jharkhand are lined up for the next few months, the party would also impress on Mukherjee to go for the enactment of the National Food Security Act which was promised in its manifesto.

This envisages providing 25 kg of rice or wheat to every family living below the poverty line in either urban or rural areas at Rs 3 per kg.

As youth too played a major role in the party's electoral victory, Congress is also expected to impress on the need for early implementation of the nation-wide skill development programme. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had last week asked the Finance Ministry to ensure that the budget "adequately and appropriately" reflects the priorities and programmes outlined in the President Pratibha Patil's address to the joint sitting of Parliament.

PMO sources said the Prime Minister is keen that adequate allocations are provided for flagship programmes and other measures are taken with regard to key sectors hit hard by the global downturn.

President Patil, in her address, had highlighted the proposed National Food Security Act under which the families below the poverty line would get 25 kg of rice or wheat a month at Rs three a kg. This, according to estimate, may put an annual burden of about Rs 26,000 crore on the exchequer.

The job guarantee scheme NREGA may get more allocation as its coverage would be extended to new areas other than the traditional works like digging land and building roads.