Hyderabad: TRS president and Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao, who eyes a role in Delhi for himself after the Lok Sabha elections, is drafting a manifesto which will have a national agenda.
Sources close to Mr Rao said he would expound on the TRS national perspective in case the Federal Front comes to power, during his first election meeting in Karimnagar on Sunday.
The TRS manifesto will press for empowerment of state governments and their involvement in progress of the nation. This has been a pet theme of Mr Rao.
Sources said the manifesto would promise to allow state governments to handle a variety of crucial sectors independently, such as agriculture, education, health, urban development, rural development, housing, drinking water, sanitation, and women and child welfare.
Though these subjects, also including justice, weights and measures, forests and protection of wild life are with the state governments, the Centre brought them into the Concurrent List through the 42nd Amendment Act of 1976.
Sources said Mr Rao wants to highlight lacunae in the Centre’s devolution of tax share to state governments in the manifesto. He is of the strong opinion that though there is a provision for devolution of 42 per cent of the gross tax revenue (GTR) of the Union of India, in actual terms, this has never been achieved. The devolved tax share has been only around a third of the GTR.
Sources said the manifesto would set a development-centric national agenda and move away from centralisation.
The manifesto would focus on structural reforms to secure higher foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows and introducing an attractive and practical tax amnesty scheme to bring black money back into the country and invest it in infrastructure.
The manifesto would speak for increase of minimum support price to agriculture products every year by linking it with the price index as in done with employees’ dearness allowance.
Sources said that the manifesto would promise the establishment of area-wise crop colonies to grow specific crops and connecting the MNREGA with agriculture sector to enable 50 per cent of labour payment from NREGS funds to increase profitability.
Mr Rao has asked officials working in the team to prepare the national agenda for the Federal Front with stress on maximum utilisation of arable land out of 40 crore acres land in the country by making the best use of the 70,000 tmc ft of surface water available, sources added.
The manifesto will assure constitution of permanent inter-state river water dispute tribunals, economic reforms to improve Ease of Doing Business and measures to compete with the developing nations in the field of GSDP....