Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah (PTI)
Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah (PTI)

BJP’s Odisha manifesto: Loan waiver for women, interest free loans for farmers

  • BJP’s Odisha manifesto talks about creation of a Rs. 1 trillion corpus fund to expand the irrigation system in the state
  • The manifesto said it will offer a onetime loan waiver to women self-help group (SHG) members

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party president Amit Shah on Sunday released its manifesto for Odisha with a clear focus on farmers, women and youth in the state. BJP’s manifesto for the state, which will vote in four phases, promised interest free loans to small and marginal farmers, and sharecroppers. It talked about creation of a Rs. 1 trillion corpus fund to expand the irrigation system in the state.

“We promise to free farmers and sharecroppers from the clutches of moneylenders and from their debt burden by providing interest free crop loans to all sharecroppers, small and marginal farmers of Odisha," it said.

The national party which is gradually gaining popularity in the state promised to expand the “irrigation network in the state through a dedicated fund of Rs. 100,000 crores over the next five years" and claimed that it will provide 95% subsidy on solar pumpsets to all farmers. It also promised effective implementation of PM Kisan Yojana in the state which will vote simultaneously for the Lok Sabha and the state assembly in four phases beginning.

BJP which won just 10 MLAs seats in the 147 member assembly and one of the 21 Lok Sabha seats in 2014 has emerged as a strong opposition in the state ahead of 2019 elections.

The BJP manifesto for the state said it will offer a onetime loan waiver to women self-help group (SHG) members. “We promise a one-time loan waiver for all outstanding loans taken by women SHGs and to create a revolving fund of Rs. 2,000 crore to provide interest free loans and seed money to both old and new SHGs".

There are over 500,000 women SHGs in Odisha and they are seen as a huge support base for the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) led by chief minister Naveen Patnaik. BJP said it will establish 314 special stores to procure products made by women self-help groups.

Going ahead of the ruling Biju Janata Dal’s cycle scheme for girl students, BJP said it will introduce a new scheme to “provide a two-wheeler free of cost to all meritorious girl students" upon completion of 12th standard.

The party said it shall launch a scheme titled ‘Subhadra Samriddhi Yojana’ wherein every girl child on enrollment in 10th, 12th class and graduate level will receive 10,000, 15,000 and 10,000 respectively. Also on completion of graduate education she will receive 15,000 in her bank account.

Besides, it also promised to establish a medical college in every district of the state, grain warehouse at panchayat level and offer marine fishermen with 300 litres diesel and kerosene at 50% subsidy every year.

The party talked about bringing a new IT policy for the state and work to construct a metro rail network between Cuttack and Bhubaneswar. On jobs front, the saffron party’s state manifesto said if voted to power in the state, it will “provide employment/ self-employment to one member in every household of the state. (And) establish a Skills Odisha Fund of 3,500 crore to skill (train) 20 lakh youth under the Odisha Skill Development Program over the next 5 years".

BJP leader and union minister Dharmendra Pradhan said BJD has proved worse than Congress in Odisha and his party and his party will rebuild the state to be one of the best in the country.