Lok Sabha elections 2019: Jobs to be a key promise in Congress manifesto
The party manifesto will focus on the export sector and labour-intensive textiles and leather industries and may contain specific policy proposals for job growth in these sectors.Updated: Mar 21, 2019 08:47 IST
The Congress may promise targeted job generation in both the public and private sectors, through policy intervention and incentives, in its manifesto for the upcoming national elections, taking on the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led government over its perceived inability to create a sufficient number of jobs in its five-year term.
The principal Opposition party may also offer a 33% women’s quota in public sector jobs to reach out to women voters, a Right to Healthcare Bill and a minimum guaranteed income for all poor irrespective of their occupation or job, at least three Congress functionaries aware of the development said on Wednesday.
The party is putting the final touches on the manifesto that’s expected to be unveiled later this month, a senior leader said . “We want to give a clear road map in our manifesto on job creation. It is perhaps the most important issue along with farmers’ welfare. It’s very clear why jobs are not being created and we will also try to pump money back into the system,” said a senior member of the manifesto committee.
The party manifesto will focus on the export sector and labour-intensive textiles and leather industries and may contain specific policy proposals for job growth in these sectors. Textiles, garments and leather industries are an important source of employment in the manufacturing sector. These industries, together, accounted for 20.9 million, or more than a third of the total manufacturing jobs in India, in 2011-12.
The Congress also wants to commit itself to filling up government vacancies, which in its count “runs into millions of jobs”, to offer secure employment and counter the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance’s narrative that the unorganised sector and self-employment have experienced healthy job growth.
“Our road map will indicate policies to promote private sector jobs and if we come to power, we also want to create in the first year itself a few lakhs of jobs in the public employment to show how the NDA government failed to create jobs,”the member said.
The 19-member manifesto committee includes P Chidambaram, Jairam Ramesh, Rajeev Gowda, Kumari Selja, Sam Pitroda and Shashi Tharoor. The panel has so far interacted with more than 50 independent experts, held 120 public consultations and at least 10 meetings.
To counter the government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme that had already benefited 1.5 million people, the Congress will come out with its own version of universal health care (UHC) in the manifesto. Departing from the health insurance-based Ayushman Bharat, the Congress will promise to double the central heath ministry budget and bring a Right to Healthcare Bill. The party also wants to offer a minimum income guarantee for poor.
Former parliamentary affairs secretary Afzal Amanullah said, “Manifestoes are an integral part of the election process. But mere promises can’t win votes. A party must have right candidates, good organization and dedicated workers to reach out to the voters.”