The Hindu (Mumbai)

Cong. drafts manifesto with focus on jobs, aid for poor

Draft to be placed before CWC for approval; proposals include ₹6,000 every month to 20% of the poorest households, GST revamp, social security measures for gig workers and tax cuts


he universal basic income idea may have not worked for the Congress in the 2019 Lok Sabha election but the party will reintroduc­e the concept in its 2024 manifesto.

A copy of the draft manifesto was presented to party president Mallikarju­n Kharge on Wednesday by P. Chidambara­m, who heads the party’s Manifesto Committee. In a post on X, Mr. Kharge wrote, “Our Draft Manifesto based on “NYAY” for the 2024 Lok Sabha Elections is ready”.

It will now be placed before the Congress Working Committee (CWC) for its final approval.

The manifesto has a clear focus on employment and livelihood issues, antiinflat­ionary measures and

TMallikarj­un Kharge receiving the party’s draft manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha election.

social justice. The guarantee template, which has been used by the party in the recent Assembly elections, will be back with nyuntam aay yojana (nyay) or universal basic income guarantee. The party proposes to give ₹72,000 annually or ₹6,000 every month to 20% of the poorest households if they come to power at the Centre. The women of

these households will be entitled to the scheme.

Sources said party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who is in the manifesto committee, pushed for this idea.

The party could also promise onethird reservatio­n for women in government jobs. Other proposals include doubling of scholarshi­p amounts at every level, setting up startup funds, funding for sportspers­ons, and social security measures such as pension for gig workers.

The party’s economic proposals include revamping the goods and services tax (GST) to provide a level playing field for micro, small and medium enterprise­s (MSMEs).

Tax cuts

Jobs creation will be a focus area and for that, the party is likely to promise tax cuts to incentivis­e private sector investment­s.

The party also argues that the “climate of fear” needs to go and a “harmonious society” needs to be created to boost investment­s. Towards this end, the party could promise to take a relook at the powers of Central agencies such as the Enforcemen­t Directorat­e and Income Tax department­s.

 ?? PTI ??

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