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Congress promises schemes for the landless poor in Haryana

September 30, 2009 18:21 IST

The ruling Congress in Haryana on Wednesday promised a loan waiver scheme for non-farmer loan seekers -- like the landless, craftsmen and small shopkeepers -- setting up of a farmers' commission, construction of two lakh cheap houses for the urban poor and making the state power surplus.

Releasing the party's manifesto for the October 13 assembly polls, Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda and All India Congress Committee in-charge Prithviraj Chavan sought a second term for "growth, peace and prosperity" of the state.

The 34-page manifesto said on the lines of the central loan waiver scheme, the state cooperative banks would launch a loan and interest waiver scheme for the non-farmer loan seekers, which also includes jewellers, shoe makers, artisans, weavers and barbers. "It (the manifesto) is a vision document which highlights the works done during the five-year rule and gives details of the development plan for the coming five years since the Congress is certain to return to power with a clear mandate," Hooda said.

He said the manifesto had been made as per the development path shown by Congress President Sonia Gandhi and the economic policies framed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Chavan said the party looked forward to the support from people as they did for the Congress government in the recent Lok Sabha elections when the party won 9 of the 10 seats. "It (the Lok Sabha result) was a stamp of approval of the successful works undertaken by the party during its tenure," he said.

Giving details of the loan waiver scheme, the manifesto said for those who had taken loans up to Rs 10,000, the principal amount and interest would be waived.

In case of debtors who have taken loan of more than Rs 10,000, their loan component up to Rs 10,000 and complete interest would be waived on the condition that they clear the principal amount over and above Rs 10,000.

The scheme will benefit about 3.6 lakh non-farmer debtors, it said adding that Rs 285 crore in principal amount and Rs 115 crore interest would be waived under it.

The Congress promised to make every effort to get a stay vacated by the Supreme Court on the linking of Hansi-Butana Link Canal with Bhakra Mainline Canal at the cost of Rs 392 crore.

On the completion of the Sutlej Yamuna Link Canal to bring Haryana's share of Ravi Beas water from Punjab, the party promised that it will "protect the interests of Haryana at all costs".

To check the declining water table, a water conservation mission would be formed, the manifesto said.

The document promised to make Haryana power surplus in the next three years.

As an incentive to those farmers paying their power bills, the manifesto said that once the tubewell bill was paid, a pilot scheme for direct payment of subsidy on power bill to the farmer would be launched.

While most parties, including the Bharatiya Janata Party, did not mention anything about the environment in their poll manifestos, the Congress acknowledged the problem posed by pollution and global warming and said a new policy would be formulated for encouraging renewable energy.

The Congress has also promised to make Haryana an education hub, with stress on promotion of science and technical education. "A state-level science city would be set up at Rohtak and a bio-tech city would also be established. The backward classes, scheduled castes, women and economically weaker and disabled students would be provided full fee concession in technical institutes," the manifesto said.

The kandayan amount at the time of marriage of a girl hailing from an SC family would be raised from Rs 15,000 to Rs 31,000 under the Indira Gandhi Priyadarshani Vivah Shagun Yojana.

A National Institute of Cancer and another such institute for the ageing would be established in the state.

With sportspersons from Haryana including Bhiwani boxer Vijender Singh bringing laurels, the Congress has promised to go in for talent hunt to spot the budding sportspersons. They would also be given scholarships and training, it said adding that a sports authority would be set up to develop sports complexes.

The manifesto has also promised supply of drinking water to every house and sewerage facility in all cities.

All illegal and unauthorised colonies will be regularised, while all leasehold properties in Ambala Cantonment would be made freehold, it promised.

To improve connectivity with Delhi, metro rail would be extended to Gurgaon, Faridabad, Bahadurgarh and Kundli. On the industrial front, the Congress has assured to come out with a new industrial policy based on public-private-partnership to attract more investments. A policy on mining activity would be framed to balance between economic interests and environment protection while tourism will be promoted on the lines of industry.

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