The RJD released its manifesto ahead of the Bihar elections on Saturday, keeping the focus on their promise of 10 lakh government jobs and making a slew of other promises including spending 22 per cent of the state budget on education, and giving 85 per cent of government jobs to local residents. The manifesto, which says “Pran Humaara, Sankalp Badlaav Ka” also carries messages from former Chief Minister Lalu Prasad Yadav and Rabri Devi, as well as one from Chief Ministerial candidate Tejashwi Yadav.
राजद का संकल्प-
समग्र विकास एकमात्र विकल्प!
आओ मिलकर कदम बढ़ाएँ
तेजस्वी संग नया बिहार बनाएँ! pic.twitter.com/OIVTfdxkVy
The first substantive point of the manifesto drives home the point on ten lakh jobs, that has been bringing cheers at Yadav’s rally and says, “Due to the failings of the NDA government, the lakhs of posts left vacant will be filled, and with the creation of new posts, the work of a time-bound delivery of 10 lakh jobs will be begun in the first cabinet meeting.”
At the release, Yadav said that the ten lakh figure “was not a number from thin air” and was a considered announcement. “If I wanted to just make promises, I could have said 1 crore jobs, or 50 lakh. We don’t make false promises…4.5 lakh of these jobs will be provided immediately which come from vacant positions, and the rest will come from medicine, education and the police,” Yadav said. Later in the manifesto, under a section titled “Youth: Higher Education and Employment” the document also says, “Putting in place a locals policy, in any government job, it will be made certain that 85 per cent jobs are fixed for local residents.”
Among the other promises made in the manifesto are tax waivers and tax deferments for industry, all forms for government examinations to be free, and free travel to the test centre and an employment centre in every district. “All contractual workers will be made permanent and will be given equal work, equal pay and the privatization of all departments will be stopped,” the manifesto said tapping into a demand that has been raised by contractual teachers.
In the agriculture sector, the manifesto says that “70 per cent of Paddy, wheat, maize, makhana, pulses will be bought by our government at MSP and bonus. For this, our government is committed to giving cash credit at zero per cent interest.” It also promises to waive farm loans and Kisan Credit Card loans pre 2020.
On industry, while promising a new industrial policy and a new “business commission”, the manifesto says, “Food processing industries, industry-specific clusters, food parks, IT Parks, SEZ’s, every market to have a government warehouse, cold storage etc will be arranged for a built by the government…To set up agro-based industries such as sugar, jute, makhana processed food and so on, businessman will get a grant of 10 lakh and a loan of 5 lakh without interest.”
The RJD also promised that 22 per cent of the state budget would be spent on education with computers, hi-speed internet and projectors to be provided to schools to facilitate e-learning. “In government and non-government schools, English and Computer will be made compulsory….If students from the backward or Dalit communities get above 80 per cent in any class, they will get rewards and a laptop,” the manifesto said.
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