In a bid to retain power in Karnataka, the ruling Congress on Friday promised to create one crore jobs across the southern state in its manifesto for the May 12 Legislative Assembly elections.
“We aim to create at least 15-20 lakh jobs each year in the state and provide programmes for skill development, encouraging entrepreneurship and increasing youths’ employability quotient,” said the manifesto released by party President Rahul Gandhi in this port city.
Terming its 47-page manifesto a “people’s manifesto”, the party said it wants to create a hut-free Karnataka and would build 50 lakh houses in the rural parts of the state.
“We are committed to address the urban housing challenge and propose to build 15 lakh houses (3 lakh houses per year) for the people of the state,” it said.
Claiming to the first state in the country to roll out the “Arogya Karnataka” universal healthcare scheme, the Congress said it will increase the budget allocation for health from the current 0.9 per cent to at least 1.5 per cent.
On March 2, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah had unveiled the state’s public healthcare scheme, that is expected to benefit about 1.43 crore households, by providing free treatment to all below poverty line (BPL) families at government hospitals.
The party also promised to provide free education to all students from grades 1 to 12 across all the state-run schools in the state. Presently, the state gives free elementary education to all children from class 1 to 8 in state-run and government-aided schools.
In a bid to promote girl child education, Siddaramaiah had said on February 16 while announcing the state Budget that all girls will get free education up to post-graduation in state-run institutions.
All college-going students in the state will receive a smartphone, the manifesto added.
Information Technology (IT) will be made an important driver of the state economy by increasing the field’s contribution from the current $60 billion to $300 billion, the ruling party said.
Currently, the state capital Bengaluru alone, which is home to over 750 multinationals and 2,000 IT firms, contributes about 40 per cent of the total IT exports done by the country.
“We will build a talent pool to cater to over 3 million IT jobs in the state by skill upgradation and IT-driven curriculum,” added the manifesto.