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
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.