NEW DELHI Lower tax rates, interest-free agriculture loans up to Rs 1 lakh and steps to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 are among the key promises of the ruling BJP as it unveiled the manifesto for the general elections starting April 11.
Building 60,000 kilometres of national highways, connecting all villages with rural roads, operationalising 100 new airports, modernising 400 railway stations, and covering 50 cities are also part of the manifesto or ‘Sankalp Patra (document of resolve)’.
If re-elected, the party said its government would make agricultural loans up to Rs 1 lakh interest free as well as invest Rs 25 lakh crore in the agriculture sector.
Releasing the manifesto here on Monday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said the party would work towards making India a developed nation by 2047, 100 years after Independence.
On taxation front, the BJP said its government’s economic policy has been guided by the principle of lowering the tax rate and improving compliance, thereby broadening of the tax base.
With improved compliance and increased tax base, the tax to GDP ratio has reached 12 per cent, highest in the recent past, up from 10.1 per cent in 2013-14.
“This increased revenue has been deployed for benefits to the poor and creation of infrastructure at an unprecedented level.
“We will continue with our policy in the similar manner – lowering of tax rate, thereby rewarding honest tax payers and improving compliance,” it said.
In the interim Budget presented to Parliament in February, the BJP-led NDA government has made income up to Rs 5 lakh tax free.
According to the manifesto, after providing major tax relief in the recent budget, the party is committed to further revise the tax slabs and tax benefits to ensure more cash and greater purchasing power in the hands of our middle income families.
“We will make all efforts to ensure that our aspirational middle class has access to education, employment opportunities and suitable urban infrastructure for a better quality life,” it said.
“India was branded as ‘fragile five’ in 2014. Within five years, we have turned India into a bright spot that is not only the fastest growing major economy of the world but also enjoys macroeconomic stability,” the manifesto said.
It also said the country has become the world’s sixth largest economy and would soon be among the top five.
“We aspire to make India the third largest economy of the world by 2030. This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032,” the 48-page document said.
The party also pledged that its government would ensure that India remains the world’s fastest growing major economy in future while maintaining macro stability.
“We aspire to be the world’s third largest economy by 2030,” the manifesto, released three days ahead of the first phase of the general elections, said.
As per the World Bank data, in 2017, India became the sixth largest economy with a GDP of USD 2.59 trillion, relegating France to the seventh position.
The GDP of France stood at USD 2.58 trillion.
It also said that while social security net for the poor and farmers would be expanded, the party’s government would take up capital investment in the country to a new height.
“By 2024, we will make capital investment of Rs 100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector. We recognise that investment driven growth requires cheaper cost of capital.
“By anchoring inflation at 4 per cent and cleaning up our banking system we have created the space for structural reduction in the cost of capital. This will not only help infrastructure investment but investment also in the wider economy,” BJP said.
The party would also endeavour to raise India’s ranking among top 50 nations in ‘ease of doing business index’, strengthen Companies Act, and introduce new industrial policy.
To encourage the spirit of entrepreneurship amongst the youth, the party has promised to launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to Rs 50 lakh for entrepreneurs.
“We will guarantee 50 per cent of the loan amount for female entrepreneurs and 25 per cent of the loan amount for male entrepreneurs,” BJP said.
Further, the party in the manifesto said it would establish National Traders’ Welfare Board and create a National Policy for Retail Trade for the growth of retail businesses.
“To protect the interests of small traders, we will provide an accident insurance of 10 lakh rupees to all the traders registered under GST,” it said.
Besides, on the lines of of Kisan credit card, a scheme would be created to give merchant credit card to registered merchants.
The manifesto has also promised further simplification of Goods and Services Tax (GST) process by engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders.
Be Part of Quality Journalism
Quality journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce and despite all the hardships we still do it. Our reporters and editors are working overtime in Kashmir and beyond to cover what you care about, break big stories, and expose injustices that can change lives. Today more people are reading Kashmir Observer than ever, but only a handful are paying while advertising revenues are falling fast.