Pledging to work for special category status for Odisha, BJP today promised interest-free loan for students, empowerment of women, setting up of fast track courts to hear cases of crimes against women, allowances for jobless youths and a host of other sops.
Making the state and the nation corruption-free, strong, stable and self-reliant is the goal set in the BJP's 2014 poll manifesto for Odisha released by the party's state in-charge, Arun Singh, and national secretary Dhramendra Pradhan here.
Apart from this, the manifesto includes 35 programmes and promises for the people of the state, if the party is voted to power.
The party promised to set up fast track courts at the district level to deal with crimes related to women and make the Women's Commission free from political interference as its chairperson would be from judicial services.
The party said agricultural loans would be interest-free for the first year, while one per cent interest would be charged for the second year, 2 per cent for the third year and 3 per cent subsequently and there shall be provision of loan waiver during natural calamities.
It also promised to provide Rs 300 as bonus on minimum support price of paddy, said seniorBJP leader B B Harichandan, who headed the manifesto committee.
While interest-free loan would be provided to all students based on their financial condition, stipends for SC and ST students would be doubled, he said.
Similarly, unemployed skilled and unskilled youths would be given Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 respectively as monthly employment allowance, he said.
It promised to fill up vacancies from primary school to university level to ensure quality education. Further it promised to raise the upper age limit for jobs from the present 35 years to 40 years.
For treatment of senior citizens, there would be mobile van services at block level.
The mining policy would be amended with emphasis on the government to exploit the resources. No mining activities would be undertaken without the consent of stakeholders.
The chitfund depositors' money would be refunded and sharecroppers in the state would be identified. Free power will be provided to farmers for irrigation.
It also promised to introduce "Kanyaratna" programme for the welfare and development of the girl child.