Uttarakhand

Uttarakhand Assembly elections | Congress promises gas cylinder at ₹500, ₹40,000 a year for BPL families

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel with Congress leader Harish Rawat and Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal, addresses a press conference in Dehradun on January 24, 2022.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel with Congress leader Harish Rawat and Uttarakhand Congress president Ganesh Godiyal, addresses a press conference in Dehradun on January 24, 2022.

The Congress on Monday launched its campaign for the Uttarakhand Assembly elections with four promises - capping the price of a gas cylinder for consumers at ₹500, income support of ₹40,000 annually for the poorest families, doorstep medical facilities and 4 lakh jobs.

The party’s campaign theme of “Char Dham, Char Kaam - Uttarakhandi Swabhimaan” was launched in Dehradun by Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, former Uttarakhand Chief Minister Harish Rawat, Congress national spokesperson Gourav Vallabh and other party leaders. Mr. Rawat said the party’s Uttarakhand manifesto would send a message regarding what the Congress manifesto for the country would be.The party also launched theme songs and video vans.

Later, speaking to The Hindu , Mr. Vallabh said the four promises that were decided upon after a six-month process would form the central theme of the party’s manifesto, which would be more detailed. Ahead of the February 14 polls, the party would also be releasing a white paper on the defense sector on January 28, he added.

Announcing the promises, Mr. Baghel said gas cylinder prices had gone from ₹400-₹450 to ₹900 during the tenure of the Narendra Modi government. He said the Congress had decided that consumers would not pay more than ₹500 and the State government would pay the difference in the form of a subsidy. Mr. Vallabh said the price of gas cylinder in Dehradun was ₹918.50 currently, meaning that a Congress government would pay a subsidy of ₹418.50. He said the national average for consumption was 6.25 cylinders per family per year and with 24 lakh households in Uttarakhand, the cost to the state would be ₹627.75 crore or 1.1% of the current Budget.

The party would provide ₹40,000 in the form of an income support to 5 lakh of the poorest families in the state, which would lead to an expenditure of ₹2,000 crore annually.

Being a hill State, access to medical services was a challenge for many, Mr. Baghel said, adding that the doorstep delivery of services, including use of drones, would be implemented by a Congress government. Mr. Vallabh later said bike ambulances would cover 60%-70% of the terrain and drones fitted with cameras would service the rest of the area. The drones would also be used to deliver medicines, he said.

The Congress’ promise of 4 lakh jobs would be realised through inviting employment-creating industries to the State and providing them with a subsidy, Mr. Vallabh said, adding that a comprehensive plan would be detailed in the manifesto.


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Printable version | May 25, 2022 6:50:07 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttarakhand-assembly/uttarakhand-assembly-elections-congress-promises-gas-cylinder-at-500-40000-a-year-for-bpl-families/article38319920.ece