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HindustanTimes Tue,30 Sep 2014

Cong manifesto may promise bringing back black money hidden abroad

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, March 24, 2014
First Published: 22:36 IST(24/3/2014) | Last Updated: 22:39 IST(24/3/2014)

The ruling Congress party, battling charges of corruption, may come up with specific promises to curb black money, bring back undeclared wealth stashed abroad and suggest measures to use it to meet rising social sector expenses.

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The party is set to release its manifesto on March 26. For the first time, the Congress held extensive discussions with various stakeholders before finalising the manifesto. Most of these meetings were headed by Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi.

While the 2009 Congress manifesto was silent on this issue, some party strategists feel there is a pressing political need to address the black money. The urgency is palpable after the UPA government faced the Opposition's ire over black money for the past few years.

The Congress is also likely to promise that the key anti-corruption measures which could not be enacted during the tenure of the second UPA government would be accorded the highest priority if it retains power.

Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi had pitched for six key anti-corruption bills including the protection to whistle-blowers, the right to time-bound delivery of public goods and services and the Public Procurement Bill.

Congress sources added the party may create a dedicated dispute redressal mechanism for Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects and also promises means to make the PPP more competitive.

The thrust of the Congress manifesto on the economic front will be in favour of high growth and employment generation.

Both finance minister P Chidambaram and commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma are believed to have given several inputs on these issues.


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