Manifesto to tread cautiously on more FDI in insurance, multi-brand retail

Creating jobs, boosting manufacturing, setting up 100 smart cities, ensuring more private participation in Defence production and expanding and modernising the Railways are likely to be the focus areas in the BJP’s growth agenda.

The party, which found itself caught between traditional and more aggressive economists, has found a middle path in drafting its manifesto.

Agriculture, too, will find prominence in the agenda, with the BJP proposing to bring about a second Green Revolution, a BJP member privy to the development told Business Line.

However, on the controversial issues of energy pricing and opening the insurance sector and multi-brand retail, while the party is not opposed to the moves, it thinks the country is not yet ready for them.

Gujarat model

Narendra Taneja, National Convener-Energy Cell and Member, Economic Committee, Bharatiya Janata Party, said: “The party is united on the economic direction it will follow. The Gujarat growth model is something which everyone in the party recognises and wants to implement.”

In the Defence sector, policies will be framed to allow the private sector to play a more significant role in order to reduce dependence on imports, he said.

To create a level-playing field across the country, the party proposes to stress on the development of backward regions, including the North-East. “We will work to bring the North-Eastern States into the economic mainstream on a war-footing,” Taneja said.

The 100 smart cities planned by the party will also do their bit in rejuvenating the economy at the grassroots level, he said. Areas hit by Naxal violence, for instance, will get priority as there is a pressing need to boost manufacturing and generate jobs in these places.

Each smart city will focus on products based on the core strength of the area in which it is being set up. Creation of jobs and promoting India as a global manufacturing hub will be the guiding philosophy, he said.

In agriculture, the party wants to come up with a new seeds policy to increase productivity. The focus will also be on bringing in modern technology and making information, including production data, available in real time for policymakers as well as farmers.

(This article was published on April 6, 2014)
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