Indian National Congress Manifesto 2019 for Lok Sabha election

Indian National Congress

The Congress was born on 28 December 1885 when 72 social reformers, journalists and lawyers congregated for the first session of the Indian National Union at Gokuldas Tejpal Sanskrit College in Bombay (now Mumbai). This conference was renamed as the Indian National Congress marking the beginning of India's grand old party. Under Mahatma Gandhi, the party got actively involved in the Indian Independence movement until the British finally left on 15 August 1947. Till date tha party has given seven prime ministers to India -- Jawaharlal Nehru, Gulzarilal Nanda, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi, PV Narsimha Rao and Manmohan Singh. Rahul Gandhi is the current Congress president after he took over from his mother Sonia Gandhi in December 2017.

Misc / general

  • To scrap the Electoral Bond scheme and set up a National Election Fund to which any person can make a contribution
  • To scrap the Niti Aayog and replace it with a new Planning Commission with renowned economists and financial experts
  • To work on a holistic agenda of affirmative action for SCs, STs and OBCs, who constitute a little over 75 percent of the population
  • To introduce a new model of governance for towns and cities through a directly elected mayor with a fixed term of 5 years, an elected Council and a separate structure for each urban body

Taxation

  • To enact a Direct Taxes Code in the first year that will levy taxes at progressive rates having regard to the level of current incomes and income inequalities.
  • To review and replace the current GST laws with a GST 2.0 regime that will be based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax on goods and services
  • Real Estate, Petroleum Products, Tobacco and Liquor to be brought within the ambit of GST 2.0
  • GST Council to be the policy-making body, which will be served by a permanent secretariat of tax economists, tax policy experts and tax professionals.

Employment

  • To fill all 4 lakh Central Government and institutional vacancies before March 2020
  • To request state governments to fill all vacancies, estimated at 20 lakh, in the sectors of healthcare and education, and in local bodies.
  • To launch a `Water Bodies Restoration Mission` and `Wasteland Regeneration Mission` to create 1 crore jobs
  • To exempt new businesses from applicable laws and regulations (except Minimum Wages Act and tax laws) for 3 years

Economic Policy

  • To introduce Nyuntam Aay Yojana to provide Rs 72,000 a year to the poorest 20 percent families in India
  • To achieve the target of 3 percent of GDP by 2020-21 and to remain under that limit. Revenue deficit to be contained under 1 per cent of GDP.
  • To increase the share of India`s manufacturing sector from the current level of 16 percent of GDP to 25 percent in 5 years
  • To review all laws and regulations governing investments within 3 months, and instruments found outdated or obstructionist to be repealed.

National Security

  • To provide a statutory basis to the National Security Council and the office of National Security Adviser. Agencies under both will be accountable to Parliament.
  • To establish an office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), to be the principal adviser to the government on defence matters.
  • To rapidly expand domestic capacity to manufacture defence and security equipment.
  • To increase the strength of border guarding forces - BSF, SSB, ITBP and Assam Rifles - to prevent infiltration, illegal immigration and smuggling.

Agriculture and Farm Labour

  • To waive outstanding farm loans in all states, as done by state govts in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan
  • To establish a National Commission on Agricultural Development and Planning consisting of farmers, scientists and agricultural economists
  • To digitise land ownership and land tenancy records, and recognise ownership and tenancy rights of women farmers
  • To re-design the BJP`s Fasal Bima Yojana, and direct insurance companies to offer crop insurance and charge premiums on the principle of `no profit, no loss.`

Rural development

  • To establish a non-lapsable Rural Infrastructure Fund that will provide loans and grants to infrastructure projects undertaken by Panchayats and Municipalities.
  • To launch MGNREGA 3.0, which will increase the guaranteed days of employment up to 150 days
  • To connect all villages and habitations with a population of 250 with a road under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana.
  • To pass a Right to Homestead Act to provide a homestead for households that don`t own a home or own land to build a house.

Women welfare

  • To pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to provide for reservation of 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and state legislative Assemblies
  • To amend the Service Rules to reserve for women 33 percent of appointments to posts in the Central government.
  • To conduct a comprehensive review of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces Act, 2013
  • To stipulate that every Special Economic Zone shall have working women`s hostels and safe transport facilities

Science and Tech

  • To increase the expenditure on science and technology to 2 percent of GDP.
  • To establish a National Mission for sunrise technologies such as Big Data, Machine Learning, Internet of Things and Knowledge Networks.
  • To set up a National Data Science Institute to train and produce world-class data scientists.
  • To create a patent pool, acquire patents and allow access to patented technology to businesses at affordable cost.