He also promised free life saving drugs and abolition of VAT besides power, water and agro-related schemes. But there is a catch: All this only if his new party comes to power!
“We will relieve people from the burden of rising prices if we form the next government in the state. BJP in the state and Congress at the Centre have failed on this count but we will do it,” declared Keshubhai, addressing a press conference in Ahmedabad.
The promised reforms in the agro sector include clearance of 4.55 applications for agro-related power connections within two years, previously relegated to a waiting list, and new power connections to be given in 90 days. Power will be supplied on Horse Power basis by doing away the meter system and new electricity connections in ‘Tatkal’ scheme.
The other major promises made by GPP chief are:
* Agricultural power users (farmers) will pay annual charge of Rs. 500 per HP instead of current tariff of Rs. 850 per HP.
* Section 135, which carries the provision of imprisonment in case of power-theft will be abolished; instead, a penalty will be recovered. Alongside, 15 to 30 per cent will be discounted on electricity bills.
* A Master Plan on Narmada Yojana, Kalpsar Yojana and water harvesting schemes will be prepared.
* VAT will be abolished on all varieties of fertilizers, pesticides and tractors used in agriculture. With cheaper LPG and CNG, petrol-diesel prices to be slashed by Rs. 5 by reducing value-added tax(VAT); no VAT will be charged on increased prices of petrol-diesel and CNG in case of future rise of prices by central government.
* LPG price (per cylinder, one a month only) will be slashed by 100 rupees.
* RO plants will be set up in villages getting saline water.
* Besides free distribution of Life Saving Drugs (LSDs) in all government hospitals, VAT will be done away with on the LSDs sold at medical stores and so will the entry fee for visitors coming to see ailing relatives.
* ST (roadways) bus fares to be slashed by 20 per cent, senior citizens would get 50 per cent discount and physically-challenged people will avail free travel along with an attendant.
* All fixed-salary employees will get full salary (regular pay).
The former CM claimed that his ‘government’ would be able to manage the financial burden of Rs 3000 crore needed to implement these promises. He reminded the voters that after becoming CM in 1995, he had fulfilled the promise of 20 percent reduction in state bus fares.