The Congress Party’s manifesto for the 2024 General Elections has taken forward the rights and entitlements-based approach to governance seen in its earlier manifestos for the last four Lok Sabha elections (2004-19) to the next level, promising a new deal on “social justice” and enhanced welfarism. 

It has now promised ‘right to apprenticeship’ and legal guarantee for MSP, building on other rights established in UPA-I and II such as right to food, right to information, right to information, right to education (2009), right to employment, right to identity (Aadhaar) and right to direct receipt of welfare benefits.

Infact, the Congress Party had in its 2014 manifesto proposed right to health, right to pension, right to social security, among others.

Ensuring distributive justice and removal of economic inequality through rewriting of the income tax code is an important feature of the latest manifesto (2024) that resonates from a similar promise made in the earlier edition in 2014. Another promise now made is intent to replace the current GST laws enacted by the NDA Government with GST 2.0, along with a single, moderate rate that will not burden the poor. 

Other schemes

If voted to power, Congress has now promised to reserve 50 per cent of Central government jobs for women and also open up the Centre’s purse strings for several welfare schemes initiatives on health, education, PDS coverage and senior citizen pension, building on the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) it had originally rolled out. The latest manifesto promised to increase the wage under MGNREGA to ₹400 per day. Currently, the national average of MGNREGA is ₹289 per day. 

Besides MGNREGA, Congress has guaranteed a national minimum wage of ₹400 per day.

A similar promise in the latest manifesto is an urban employment programme guaranteeing work for the urban poor in reconstruction and renewal of urban infrastructure. A separate law will be enacted to specify and protect the rights of gig workers and unorganised workers and enhance their social security. 


The latest manifesto has amplified social welfare measures which were a common theme in its manifestoes over the last two decades. Addressing inequality of wealth and income is the main theme in its economic programme. Simultaneously, the Congress reiterated its commitment to keep India an open economy in which economic growth will be driven by the private sector complemented by a strong and viable public sector. “Level-playing field” to all private players as opposed to “crony capitalism” of the BJP is the bedrock of the Congress’s economic vision in which strengthening institutions such as the Competition Commission of India has been highlighted to ensure an open and competitive economy. 

“We will ensure that no company or person arrogates to itself or himself the financial or material resources or the business opportunities or the concessions that ought to be available to every entrepreneur”, the latest manifesto noted. 

Federalism being an important theme through the years with Congress, the latest manifesto promises to end the “cess” raj of the Modi government and ensure that States get their rightful share of tax revenues. The latest manifesto promises the introduction of a law to limit Union cess and surcharges to 5 per cent of gross tax revenues. 

Besides promising to end “tax terrorism”, the Congress has resolved to make India a manufacturing hub by raising the share of manufacturing from 14 per cent to 20 per cent of GDP in the next five years. 

Congress manifesto

Congress Nyay Patra’s New Deal for Industry, Wealth 

— Share of manufacturing to go up from 14 per cent to 20 per cent of GDP in 5 Years

—Simplify Corporate taxation structure, end tax terrorism

—Comprehensive review of rules and regulations to restore freedom of industry, trade and freedom

—Restore healthy, fearless and trustworthy climate for businesses

—Revive Stalled Projects on a Mission Mode with Private Sector help

—Reform the Production Linked Incentive Scheme 

—Introduce new employment-linked incentive scheme for corporates

—Create level playing field for all businesses

—Strengthen Competition Commission of India to ensure India remains Open and Competitive Economy

—Encourage use of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics

—Enact New Direct Taxes Code, Eliminate Angel Tax and Replace GST laws with GST 2.0

—Lessen Tax Burden on MSMEs

— To Target doubling of GDP in next ten years