Even as prime minister Manmohan Singh in a televised address sought to explain the compulsion of economic reforms, the government is planning an advertisement blitzkrieg to justify the diesel price hike and imposing of cap on LPG cylinders.
Congress leaders, however, are unhappy with the ministers for delaying schemes announced in the last budget.
A Rs100-crore advertisement plan is underway to boost the image of the ruling Congress, dented by attacks from both the opposition as well as allies. Top Congress leaders have often voiced their concern over poor propagating of the “people-friendly” schemes launched by the UPA-II government. The campaign is intended to not only educate people on the government measures but also take on the opposition head on. Campaign managers say care is being taken to ensure that this promotion does not emulate the “India shining” campaign of BJP in 2004, which did not help it to retain power.
Separate campaigns are planned for the rural and urban areas. The urban audience is being addressed with advertisements on the benefits of FDI in multi-brand retail and the fuel price hike, while a major part of the budget is to advertise the programmes of the rural development ministry to influence the rural vote bank.
A two-hour light-and-sound show in Hindi on the life of an orphan girl Jamuniya who became a village sarpanch, will be shown in villages. It is being dubbed in Gujarati as well to show it to people in poll-bound Gujarat.
Meanwhile, Congress leaders are asking as why the sops announced in the budget are taking too long for implementation. Both Rajiv Gandhi Equity Saving Scheme for encouraging new investors in the capital market and the slash in the tax on foreign borrowings were announced in the budget and the government has been sitting on it since March.
The government on Friday pressed ahead with more reforms hoping that more money may come into the market.
Congress leaders say finance minister P Chidambaram’s announcement to cut tax on foreign borrowings by companies to 5 per cent from 20 would spur investments in roads, ports, highways and other infrastructure .