A resolution moved by the Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh and adopted at the Plenary session of the Indian National Congress on Saturday acknowledged that education being the only long-term solution to fighting poverty, a 5% cess on the richest Indians would be used to provide scholarships to children from disadvantaged sections of the people.
The session also resolved that Congress would ensure that Aadhaar is not used to deny benefits to the poor but used only to improve targeting the eligible beneficiaries of welfare schemes.
Boosting jobs would be a top priority for the Congress. A renewed focus on manpower intensive manufacturing in the domestic and export sectors, boosting domestic consumption, putting back exports on the high growth trajectory and emphasis on micro, small and medium enterprises would be the direction to achieve growth in employment, the resolution said.
Noting that agriculture growth is a key driver of rural consumption and job growth, many more rural employment opportunities would have to be created to sustain job-growth.
Everything can wait but not agriculture, had said the first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru soon after independence when the country with a 33 Crore population faced an acute food shortage, the resolution recalled. Over the next few decades, successive Congress governments ushered in the Green and White revolutions and made India self-sufficient in food despite a four-fold increase in population.
The Congress Plenary session on Saturday pledged to take all steps possible steps to bring back prosperity to farmers and reiterated its commitment to the promises made in its manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
Accusing the BJP Government at the Centre of duping farmers with false promises of doubling their income by 2022 and its neglect of the farm sector, Congress on Saturday pledged to bring about a farmer-centric paradigm shift in Indian agriculture and restore profitability.
The crop insurance scheme and the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, alleged the resolution on Agriculture at the party’s plenary session, has benefitted private insurance companies more. Money, it said, was being taken away from the bank accounts of farmers without their consent.
The Indian National Congress would bring a loan waiver scheme for all small and marginal farmers in the country on the pattern of the farm loan waiver program of the UPA govt in 2009 benefitting 3.2 Cr farmers. The party also intends to provide interest free loans to cover input costs to tenant farmers, sharecroppers and farmers owning & cultivating up to two hectares of land as done by congress governments in Haryana & Rajasthan.
The party notes with satisfaction that the party’s government in Karnataka has set up a state level Agricultural Prices Commission to ensure remunerative prices to the farmers of the state. The state government provided ₹2,000 crore, benefitting 5 lakh farmers. The Congress shall advise its governments in the states to emulate Karnataka.