Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its poll manifesto today — the first of the nine ‘Poll Days’ constituting the 16th general election.
"Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat" (One India, great India) and "Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikaas" are the main slogans of the 40-page manifesto.
BJP Poll manifesto includes issue of corruption, black money, price rise, policy paralysis, women empowerment, agriculture reform and healthcare reform.
In it’s poll manifesto saffron party has also included the issue of Ram Mandir and Article 370.
BJP poll manifesto also provides 8-point development formula. BJP promises to focus on five ‘Ts’ Ts (talent, trade, tourism, tradition and technology).
In order to control inflation, the Manifesto includes a number of steps:
On Price Rise
- Put in place strict measures and special Courts to stop hoarding and black marketing.
- Setting up a Price Stabilisation Fund.
- Unbundle FCI operations into procurement, storage and distribution for greater efficiency.
- Leverage on technology to disseminate Real time data, especially to farmers - on production,
- Prices, imports, stocks and overall availability.
- Evolve a single 'National Agriculture Market'.
- Promote and support area specific crops and vegetables linked to food habits of the people.
On Employment and Entrepreneurship
- Strategically develop high impact domains like Labour-intensive manufacturing (viz. Textile, footwear, electronics assembly, etc.) and Tourism.
- Strengthen the traditional employment bases of agriculture and allied industries, and retail – through modernization as well as stronger credit and market linkages.
- Harness the opportunities provided by the upgradation of infrastructure and housing, for its job generating potential.
- Encourage and empower our youth for self-employment - incubating entrepreneurship as well as facilitating credit.
- Address the employability issue by initiating a multi-skills development programme in mission mode. Focus will be on job creation and entrepreneurship, in both rural and urban areas.
- Transform Employment Exchanges into Career Centres - connecting our youth with job opportunities in a transparent and effective manner through the use of technology; as well as providing counselling and training.
- Create public awareness
- Technology enabled e-Governance - minimizing the discretion in the citizen-government interface.
- System-based, policy-driven governance - making it transparent.
- Rationalization and simplification of the tax regime - which is currently repulsive for honest tax payers.
- Simplification of the processes and procedures at all levels - bestowing faith in the citizens, institutions and establishments.
On Team India
- Place Centre-State relations on an even keel through the process of consultation and strive for harmonious Centre-State relations.
- Evolve a model of national development, which is driven by the states.
- Team India shall not be limited to the Prime Minister led team sitting in Delhi, but will also include Chief Ministers and other functionaries as equal partners.
- Ensure fiscal autonomy of States while urging financial discipline.
- Create 'Regional Councils of States', with common problems and concerns, with a view to seeking solutions that are applicable across a group of states.
- Encourage cooperation among states on security-related issues, inter-state disputes and for removing inter-regional economic disparities and promoting tourism.
- Recognize the special needs and unique problems of the hill and desert states. In consultation with the Governments of these states, state-specific developmental priorities/ models will be evolved so that the aspirations of the people are met.
- Given the unique status of Union Territories (UTs), they will receive special attention. Focus on developing and strengthening the economy of UTs.
- Protection and integrated development of our island territories.
- Moribund forums like 'National Development Council' and 'Inter-State Council' will be revived and made into active bodies.
- Involve the state Governments in the promotion of foreign trade and commerce.
- Help the states mobilize resources through investments in industry, agriculture and infrastructure
On Jammu and Kashmir:
- The return of Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood will figure high on the BJP's agenda.
- The long pending problems and demands of refugees from Pakistan Occupied Kashmir (POK) will be addressed.
- BJP reiterates its stand on the Article 370, and will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to the abrogation of this article.
- All steps will be taken to provide good governance, better infrastructure, educational opportunities, healthcare and more job opportunities, leading to a better quality of life in the valley.
- Decentralization and People's Participation: The manifesto proposes a People-Public-Private Partnership (PPPP) model to involve the people in Governance as functionaries and facilitators.
Open Government and Accountable Administration
Administrative reforms will be a priority for the BJP, the manifesto claims. The measures will include; digitization of government records, opening up government to draw expertise from the industry, academia and society into the services. BJP said that the hallmarks of its governance model would be; People-centric, Policy driven, Time bound delivery, Minimum Government, Maximum Governance.
There is a special mention of e-governance and IT as an enabler of empowerment. "BJP will focus on increasing the penetration and usage of broadband across the country, leverage technology for e-Governance, generate IT based jobs in rural and semi-urban areas, use mobile and e-Banking to ensure financial inclusion," the manifesto said.
Rural and Urban development
"Agriculture, rural development and poverty alleviation go hand in hand. Major thrust area for rural development would be to improve village level infrastructure in terms of roads, potable water, education, health, supply chain, electricity, broadband, job creation, security in rural areas and linkage to markets," the party's manifesto said.
Apart from that, BJP has advocated for urban development as its priority. "We will initiate building 100 new cities. Major steps will be undertaken in Transport and Housing for 'Urban Upliftment' in India," the manifesto seeks to promise.
"Cleanliness and Sanitation will be given priority - efficient Waste and Water management systems will be set up. Model towns will be identified for rolling out integrated waste management infrastructure," the manifesto added.
Higher and Professional Education
"The basic objective of higher and professional education is not only rapid advancement of the affluent sector of the society but also to improve the lot of the last man in the line," the document said.
BJP has said that India needs a 'comprehensive healthcare policy'. "The current situation calls for radical reforms in the healthcare system with regards to national healthcare programs and delivery, medical education and training and financing of healthcare," it said. Several steps such as modernization of government hospitals, setting up an AIIMS like institute in every state and use of Yoga and Ayurveda medicines have been propagated.
Fiscal discipline, re-visiting the policy framework, Banking reforms, encouraging savings and re-energizing the engines of growth are some of the solutions cited to ensure economic growth.
Taxation & FDI
BJP has said that it will rationalize and simplify the tax regime. It also said that it will bring on board all State governments in adopting GST, addressing all their concerns.
"Barring the multi-brand retail sector, FDI will be allowed in sectors wherever needed for job and asset creation, infrastructure and acquisition of niche technology and specialized expertise," BJP said.
Agriculture, Industry, MSMEs and services sector
For each of these sectors in the economy, the manifesto has promised measures for better productivity and job creation. The party said it will aim to make investment and industrial regions as global hubs of manufacturing.
Physical Infrastructure development
Expediting work on freight and industrial corridors; connecting Northeast and Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the country through highways and railway lines; modernising airports; economic model of Port-led development; harnessing satellite technology; setting up National Optical-Fibre Network up to the village level; Diamond Quadrilateral project - of High Speed Train network (bullet train) are among the several things that BJP has promised.