Congress promises one lakh jobs in Meghalaya

Shillong, Feb 11 (IANS) The ruling Congress in Meghalaya in its manifesto released ahead of the Feb 23 assembly polls has promised that it would create one lakh new job opportunities in the non-government sector.

The manifesto, released here Monday by party general secretary Oscar Fernandes, said: "We will create 10,000 new jobs for youth in the government sector and one lakh new job opportunities in the non-government sector through skills development and entrepreneurship training."

Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, who exuded confidence that the Congress would return to power, said his party would set up industries that would aid women, and create 10,000 job opportunities for them. The chief minister said "wedding assistance" of Rs.15,000 for an orphaned girl of marriageable age would also be provided.

The Congress party pledged that it would "strive to provide" fast-track courts for crimes against women. The manifesto said: "We will undertake special entrepreneurship training programmes for women to make them self-sufficient and financially independent".

The Congress also promised reservation for women in the traffic police force.

The party, which pledged to provide one lakh "affordable houses" to the needy over the next five years, also said it would provide two LPG cylinders in addition to the nine provided by the central government at subsidized rates for each household. Besides, most life saving and essential drugs would also be provided free through government hospitals as well as through entrepreneur-run "Health Shoppes".

The manifesto also promised to provide 100 percent reimbursement of fees for higher education of orphaned children.

In order to ensure a world-class services delivery system, the Congress manifesto is also planning to pass a "Public Service Delivery Act" to ensure that public servants deliver improved services in a time-bound manner and approach the common citizens as customers who deserve world-class services.

Moreover, it also promised to introduce an effective new law for "social audits" of all government programmes with the involvement of all stakeholders to improve transparency and accountability in governance and fight corruption.

Pledging to eliminate the scourge of militancy in the state, the Congress manifesto plans to wipe out this menace to ensure that the people harness the economic opportunities made available to them. "This will be a priority," Sangma said.

Stating that the first railway line to link Meghalaya will be ready by March next, from Dudhnai to Mehdipattar, the manifesto said a second initiative to link Jaintia Hills with Silchar in Assam was also underway.

"We will give further connectivity to our people for convenient travel and enhanced trade and commerce," the manifesto said.

The party also said it was committed to completion of the expansion of the Umroi and Baljek airports.

Projecting Shillong as a cultural destination, the Congress manifesto promised setting up an international centre for performing arts and culture, besides setting up infrastructure in all districts for promoting performing arts and culture.

It also promised to provide assistance to organisations and institutions for schools of music and fine arts.

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