Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: In a bid to woo the electorate, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday promised to increase the upper limit of income for below poverty line families from the present Rs. 11,800 to Rs. 60,000 a year if it is voted to power in the State.

The BJP, which released its 48-page election manifesto titled “Vow for a prosperous Karnataka” on Thursday, with a declaration to put the State on a fast track of development, also promised to give a status of “extremely poor” to those families having an annual income of less than Rs. 30,000. The BJP, which is the first major political party in the State to come out with a full-fledged manifesto for the coming polls, claimed that such an increase in the income level with respect to eligibility criteria would help a large number of poor families to avail the benefits of various welfare schemes.

Promise

The party promised to set up cyber cafés in every village in an effort to take IT to rural areas.

These cafes will be set up at community halls which will have a colour television and computer with internet to facilitate flow of information on agriculture, weather and prices, besides education and entertainment.

Like the Congress, the BJP, too, has promised to provide rice at the rate of Rs. 2 a kg to “extremely poor” families and offered to extend farm loans at an interest rate of 3 per cent.

It has also promised to provide houses to 15 lakh poor families in the next five years and to waive loans under Ashraya housing scheme.

It assured the unemployed youth of imparting skill development training with a monthly stipend of Rs. 1,500 a month.It promised to formulate a land acquisition policy to ensure that farmers get right prices for farm lands during acquisitions and that the acquisition process takes place in a transparent way.

It also promised to amend the Karnataka Land Revenue Act to delete the provision that makes it mandatory to take the permission from the authorities concerned for the conversion of agricultural land for non agricultural purposes and also to delete the provisions, which have imposed certain restrictions on the sale of agricultural land.

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