Mayawati announces bonanza for Dalits

April 16th, 2008 - 3:27 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Bahujan Samaj Party

Agra, April 16 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Mayawati has announced a big sop for Dalits removing all taxes on shoes that cost up to Rs.300. The concession, announced at a mammoth rally late Tuesday evening at Bhim Nagri in Kotla Bagichi here, is expected to give a fillip to the shoe manufacturing industry, mostly in the cottage and tiny sectors and employing over 200,000 people.

The Bahujan Samaj Party chief announced a dozen-odd welfare schemes that are expected to help her consolidate her vote bank.

Apart from declaring Aligarh as a new divisional headquarter and Kasganj a new district named after Kanshi Ram, Mayawati announced setting up of a new “Joota Mandi” - a wholesale market for leather products including shoes - on 250 acres of land, opening up fresh employment avenues for traders and small manufacturers.

For the tourism sector, most heartening was the decision to hold events year-round in the Shilpgram complex, 500 metres from the Taj Mahal. Presently, it sees activity for barely ten days a year during the Taj Mahotsava in February.

Mayawati inaugurated a Rs.11.9 billion Gangajal project for Agra, and announced construction of new bridges in the district and three flyovers to ease traffic pressure here. Besides, the Ambedkar Park near Agra Fort will benefit under a Rs.50 million beautification plan.

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