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Himachal Congress woos youths with dole, skill training

Saturday October 20, 2012 08:17:39 AM, IANS

Shimla: Focussing on the youths who constitute nearly 50 percent of the electorate in the state, the Congress Friday announced unemployment allowance and several freebies in its manifesto for the Himachal Pradesh assembly polls, due for Nov 4.

Releasing the manifesto here, Congress leader and Commerce Minister Anand Sharma said an unemployment allowance of Rs.1,000 per month will be given to all 10+2 passouts and graduates whose total family income is less than Rs.200,000 a year.

However, the party is silent on inflation and increasing the cap on subsidised LPG cylinders from six to nine in a year to economically disadvantaged families.

Handicapped jobless graduates will be given an unemployment allowance of Rs.1,500 per month, Sharma said.

Special emphasis will be laid on skill and vocational enhancement to create 100,000 job opportunities annually, said the manifesto.

A skill development corporation with an outlay of Rs.500 crore will be set up to tackle unemployment.

The Congress has also promised that a new scheme, Rajiv Gandhi Digital Student Yojana, will be implemented. In this scheme, 10,000 toppers of Classes 10 and 12 will be provided free laptops by the government.

Students securing first position in Class 8 in every school will be provided special learning laptops.

A university dedicated to journalism and mass communication and nano technology centres will be set up in the state, the manifesto said.

To enable students to pursue higher and technical education, the party has promised an education loan at the rate of four percent.

For inviting more industrial investment, the Congress said a new industrial policy would be formulated.

To promote the food processing industry, a state-level vision document will be prepared after consulting the central government.

It also promised to build an airport of international standards near Shimla to attract more tourists.

To woo fruit growers, the Congress said private investments would be encouraged to create infrastructure in integrated cold chains, grading and packaging, and agro and food processing.

To promote local apples over imported ones, custom duty will be enhanced at least three times the present value and efforts will be made to include apples in the special category.

On corruption, the party said there would be zero tolerance. All scams of the present BJP government will be investigated and responsibility will be fixed in all illegal cases.

As many as 45,33,713 lakh voters, including 22,86,225 electorates between in the age group of 18-39, will cast their ballots Nov 4 across Himachal Pradesh. The votes will be counted Dec 20, after the Gujarat assembly polls are over.





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