The Left Democratic Front’s (LDF) election manifesto for Kerala promises to set up a high-speed rail corridor in the State and establish four-lane national highways.

It will also look to create 25 lakh new jobs across sectors over the next five-year-period.

At least 10 lakh jobs are sought to be created in the IT and tourism sectors. The manifesto proposes the creation of a ‘Kerala bank’ by amalgamating district-level banks with apex State-level cooperative banks.

The LDF will also look to complete work on major infrastructure projects such as the Vizhinjam International Deepwater Muti-purpose Seaport, the Kannur International Airport and SmartCity-Kochi.

The manifesto pledges to promote 1,500 start-ups in the State and encourage innovation. The overarching theme is the creation of a ‘modern, secular, and developed State that is free from corruption of all kind.’

Significantly, it proposes a new dam at Mullaperiyar. It has also chalked out 35 action plans straddling sectors backed by 600 ideas for their implementation.

Call for abstinence

With regard to its liquor policy, LDF convenor Vaikom Vishwan, who released the manifesto on Tuesday, said the alliance is of the view that the campaign against liquor needs to be extended to other banned substances.

The LDF’s twin-strategy will be to limit availability and encourage abstention. It will also seek to put into motion an awareness campaign on the lines of a mass literacy programme.

The manifesto speaks about a proposal to build an open market environment that ensures fair prices for essentials for a sustained period and insulates consumers against frequent price spirals.

The LDF says it will introduce a chain of fair-price eateries/hotels and supply free rice to all below poverty line families. Participatory pension schemes will be scrapped and statutory pension will be re-introduced with payouts from all welfare pension schemes standardised at a minimum of ₹1,000.

Keltron revival

It also aims to revamp the public sector with a 50 per cent increase in the capacity and promises to expedite and complete the GAIL gas pipeline project.

The public sector Kerala State Electronics Development Corporation (Keltron) will be revived. The aim is to convert the State into an electronic hub .

Value-addition will be encouraged with respect to products based on cash crops such as coconut and rubber. Labour banks will be set up at the panchayat-level. Thiruvananthapuram, Kochi and Kozhikode will be developed as metro cities.

Health sector

A second phase of the people’s planning programme will be initiated to drive further changes at the local body level and empower them. Staff pattern in the health sector will be reviewed and workforce doubled.

A separate department will be carved out for the traditional sector industries.

Rural roads will be developed as part of a one-time programme to improve infrastructure at the village level.