New model to be based on Gandhian and Ambedkarite values; move from GDP to Gross National Happiness Index
The Congress party on Monday released its manifesto for the Gujarat assembly polls promising a “Gandhian model of development”, which would replace the “top-down approach” of the current ‘Gujarat model of development’. It also commits to implement a ‘happiness index’ to measure holistic growth, instead of the gross domestic product (GDP).
The manifesto, put together after consultations under the leadership of party leader Sam Pitroda, reaches out to the sections of Gujarat’s population which, it said, the ‘Gujarat model of development’ ignored.
“Constitutional values will be kept at the centre of (all) discussions rather than nationalism,” the manifesto states, while (gujarat polls 2017)it doesn’t mention terms like ‘secularism’ or ‘minority rights’.
The Congress manifesto promises ‘navsarjan’, rejuvenation, of Gujarat based on “Gandhian and Ambedkarite values”. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is yet to release its manifesto. Gujarat polls is slated to take place on December 9 and 14.
On the goods and services tax (GST), which is a key election issue, the Congress has promises it will “simplify” the tax and ensure that tax rate is capped at 18 per cent.
“We will strive for exemption of small traders and manufacturers, with an annual turnover of less than Rs 1.5 crore, from the GST,” the manifesto states.
The 60-page manifesto, which party sources said, is likely to become the template for the party’s manifesto for the upcoming 2019 Lok Sabha polls, focuses on education, health, agriculture, jobs and small and medium enterprises (SME) sectors.
To reduce agrarian distress, Congress has promised farm loan waiver and bonus for cotton, groundnut and other ‘special crops’. Responding to exorbitant college fees and privatisation of education, it has promised 80 per cent reduction in fees for self-financed courses….