Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Monday released manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in which the party has promised to bring an economic package for Punjab with 100 percent waiver of Central excise and Income Tax for the expansion of the old industrial units in the state.
Further, the party has promised to provide agricultural loans at cheaper rates of interest and crop insurance to secure the farmers against unforeseen losses, setting up of World Class Industrial regions as Global Hubs of Manufacturing, Textiles and IT sectors and developing Punjab as a Global Medical Tourism Hub, with advanced institutes like AIIMS in the state.
With special emphasis on industrial and IT growth, the manifesto assures the creation of three lakh (3 lakh) avenues for employment for the Punjabi youth in new ventures. There is special emphasis on controlling prices especially of essential commodities. For this, stringent measures will be taken to check black marketers and hoarders who enjoyed political patronage from the Congress rulers and created artificial scarcities and price hikes in the country.
The party also promised effective measures to be taken to check corruption and the specter of black money in the country. Earnest efforts will be made to bring back black money lying in foreign banks.
The manifesto puts special emphasis on development of Border, Kandi and water-logged areas in the state, and on the modrnisation and all round development of villages and towns in the state.
Releasing the manifesto here this morning, SAD president Sukhbir Singh Badal declared that the SAD will work in the new NDA government at the center to ensure that farmers received MSP as per the Swaminthan Formula, which includes assured markets at MSP 50% above cost of production for farmers produce. To fight the wheat-paddy rotation which is disastrous for soil fertility and for the falling water table, remunerative MSP assured markets to alternative crops will be the SAD goals.
In a path breaking initiative, the SAD promised that the new government at the center will be asked to treat agricultural allied fields like dairying, bee-keeping etc. to as “agriculture” for the purpose of income tax exemptions, easy bank loans etc.
The party promised to launch International Marketing chains for Punjab farmers to encourage value added exports and domestic trading of ethnic Punjabi food. “Mohali, Ludhiana and Amritsar will be developed as IT Hubs while Amritsar will be developed as a global hub of international tourism. International flights from Mohali International Airport will be started soon, as will be domestic flights from Bathinda, Pathankot and Adampur. The Sawhnewal airport will be upgraded and provided a longer airstrip to accommodate bigger aircrafts.”
The manifesto advocates setting up new border trade check posts for trade with Pakistan and Central Asia through the Attari Wagha border, covering all items that are traded on the Mumbai Karachi segment.
It also promises to pursue the opening up of the Ferozepur and Fazilka check posts for trade. The SAD will also work for getting a corridor access to Kartarpur Sahib in Pakistan for “Khulle darshan deedar and seva sambhal of the historic Gurdwara Sahib by Sikh Sangat .”
The manifesto also promises the setting up of Fast Track Courts to try cases and ensure justice for the victims of the brutal 1984 massacre of innocents . “There will be four-dimensional approach to ensure speedy and total justice in these case cases. These Fast-Track Courts to try on-going cases. Cases that have been closed will be re-opened and challans presented.Complaints on which no action has been taken will be reactivated.”
Mr Badal declared that a Commission of Inquiry will be set up under Supreme Court Judge to “inquire into the entire political conspiracy behind the massacre and expose and punish the real conspirators . The scope of the Commission will also cover the entire sequence of events to bring to book those who shielded the guilty after the conspiracy of mass murders had been meticulously executed. No one will be spared.”.
Mr Badal said that the political goal of his party was the setting up of a genuinely federal structure in the country, in which the states received 50% share from the central taxes and the formula of devolution of these funds were recast in favour of the states, so that the state governments had complete freedom to make and implement development plans according to the specific needs of the people their respective states. “We believe in much greater financial autonomy to the states than they have at present. We are glad that our partners in the new NDA government to be formed after the Lok Sabha elections also shared our views on this.”
On the political front, the SAD reiterated its resolve to get injustice against the state on the issue of Chandigarh and other Punjabi speaking areas vacated. The party also reiterated its stand that the river waters issue must be resolved as per the Riparian Principle. The party vowed to work for the restoration of the agreed 60:40 representation to Punjab and Haryana in the matter of appointment of officers in the UT till the transfer of Chandigarh to Punjab.
The manifesto also speaks of providing hundred percent health insurance schemes for the poor, big investments in healthcare sector, with special focus on the war on cancer, including the setting up of a world-class institute- cum-hospital and more advanced cancer diagnostic and treatment centers in the state.
Mr. Badal declared that the SAD as partner in the new government at the center will put special emphasis on the development of rural infra structure and amenities in Punjab . He said 100% houses in rural and urban areas will get potable clean drinking water and sewerage facilities.
In the urban sector, the focus of the SAD as partners in the NDA government will be developing a state of the art modern and world-class infrastructure in Punjab. “All cities in the state will be connected with 4-lane and 6-lane express ways, which will be access controlled wherever possible. State of the art parks, city roads ,street lights, computerized transport control systems in all cities.”
Addressing the problem of sand and gravel, the manifesto says that the party will work to ensure that the GoI undertook reappraisal of provisions of environment laws that have resulted in sand and gravel in several states. The party also favours that Environment laws should be framed in a manner that ensure speedy clearance of proposals, cutting off unnecessary delays.
FOLLOWING ARE THE HIGHLIGHTS F THE MANIFESTO:
1. Peace and communal harmony top priority.
2. Clean, transparent, responsive and accountable administration.
3. Focus on fast, sustainable and inclusive round development.
4. SAD will work to get all cases of injustice and discrimination against Punjab vacated.
5. Chandigarh and other Punjabi-speaking areas left out of the state. SAD is committed to get these transferred to Punjab.
6. Federal Structure with greater political and fiscal autonomy to states
7. 50% share in central taxes a to states
8. River waters to be safegaurded in the light of the Riparian Principle.
9. For Justice for the victims of the November 1984 massacre of innocents
10. Fast-track courts to try on-going cases
1. Cases that have been closed will be re-opened and challans presented.
2. Complaints on which no action has been taken to be acted upon
3. A Commission under Supreme Court Judge to inquire into and expose those who hatched the conspiracy behind massacre; ditto for those who shielded the guilty.
11. Industrial Package for Punjab for new industrial units as well as for the purpose of expansion of existing units
a.) 100% waiver of Central excise: b.) 100% waiver of Income Tax.
C.) Capital Investment subsidy 15% up to a maximum Rs 30 lacs. d.)
Freight subsidy notified in 1971 as extended to HP and U’Khand.:
12. Greater emphasis on development of Border, Kandi and water-logged areas.
13. MINORITIES: SAD IS committed to preserving and promoting their interests of all minorities in the country, especially the patriotic Sikhs.
14. TURBAN AND THE SSUE OF SIKH AND OTHER MINORITY IDENTITIES:
Diplomatic efforts will be initiated in this direction.
15. GOVERNANCE: Punjab was first to enact Right to Service Act
16. Eliminating red tape, harassment and re giving services on-line within specified dead-lines as a matter of right.
17. Procedures and rules simplified to minimize corruption.
18. Experiment to be implemented nation-wide.
19. AGRICULTURE: UNREMUNERATIVE– Farmers and farm labour face crisis.
20. Assured markets at MSP 50% above cost of production is the goal.
21. The wheat-paddy rotation is disastrous for soil fertility and for the falling water table.
22. Remunerative MSP assured markets to alternative crops.
23. Agriculture inputs and credit available at cheaper rates.
24. Liberal compensation for crop loss on the basis of natural gardavaris.
25. Agricultural allied fields like dairying, bee-keeping etc. to be treated as agriculture for the purpose of income tax exemptions, easy bank loans etc.
26. Launching of International Marketing chains to be encouraged for ethnic Punjabi food Frame Environment laws that ensure speedy clearance of proposals, cutting off unnecessary delays.
27. Realistic reappraisal of provisions of environment laws that have resulted in sand and gravel in several states.
28. INDUSTRY: World Class Industrial regions as Global Hubs of Manufacturing
29. Malwa to be Textile Hub.
30. Mohali, Ludhiana and Amritsar will be developed as IT Hubs
31. Punjab to be developed as Global Medical Tourism Hub
32. RURAL INFRA STRUCTURE AND AMENITIES : 100% houses to get potable clean drinking water , sewerage etc in villages on urban pattern.
33. URBAN INFRASTRUCTURE: All cities in the state to be connected with 4-lane and 6-lane express ways.
34. State of the art parks, city roads ,street lights, computerized transport control systems in all cities.
35. HEALTH: WAR CANCER – a world class institute- cum-hospital along the lines of AIIMS in Punjab.
36. More advanced cancer diagnostic and treatment centers.
37. Big investments in cancer cure research.
38. AVIATION: International flights to start from Mohali Airport .
39. More international flights for Amritsar
40. Sahnewal Airport to be upgraded, airstrip enlarged for bigger aircrafts
41. Domestic flights from Adampur and Pathankot
42. Bathinda Domestic Airport to be operationlised immediately
43. Nanded Sahib to be on aviation map: flights to start soon.
44. EFFORTS FOR CORRIDORTO KARTARPUR SAHIB
45. Trade through road transport to be stepped at Attari Wagha posts, to include all items covered in Mumbai-Karachi segment.
46. Efforts to open Trade check points at Ferozepur and Fazilka for trade with Pakistan and Central Asia
47. PRICES to be brought under control through strict measures: black marketers and hoarders to be firmly dealt with.
48. Effective measures to be taken to check corruption and the specter of black money in the country. Earnest efforts will be made to bring back black money lying in foreign banks
49. YOUTH AND EMPLOYMENT: Intiative to provide employment avenues to three lakh in Punjab.
50. Employment exchanges will be replaced with career centers, with facilities for career counselling for our youth.
51. National Skill Up-gradation Centers for enhancing our youth’s employability to be started.
52. WOMEN EMPOWERMENT WILL BE GIVEN KEY EMPHASIS AS A PART OF THE OVERALL DRIVE FOR ENSURING SAFETY, SECURITY AND DIGNITY OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY.
53. CHILDREN : Health and childcare will receive special focus.
54. War on female foeticide to be stepped up: Nanhi Chhan to go National.
55. TOURISM : Punjab too be developed as Global Medical Tourism Hub
56. Amritsar to be developed as Global Tourism hub
57. DALITS AND POOR: Punjab is the only state In the country giving wheat at Rs 1 and Daal at Rs 20 pe Kg.
58. Special focus will be given to dalit and the poor uplift.
59. INDUSTRY: World Class Industrial regions as Global Hubs of Manufacturing
60. Malwa to be Textile Hub.
61. Mohali, Ludhiana and Amritsar will be developed as IT Hubs