Rahul Gandhi has recently announced a minimum income guarantee scheme assuring Rs. 72,000 a year for India’s poorest families if the Congress is voted back to power.
The final assault on poverty has begun, he said of the scheme named Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra at a recent party conclave in Gujarat.
The money will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of 20 per cent of the poorest in the country. The scheme, said the Congress president, would lift five crore families or 25 crore people out of poverty.
He explained that any family earning less than Rs. 12,000 a month will receive Rs. 6,000 every month in its bank account.
“It is fiscally possible. We have done all the calculations, asked the best economists, they all backed us. We have been studying the scheme for four-five months,” Rahul Gandhi said, describing it as an extremely powerful, dynamic, well-thought-through idea.”
Rahul Gandhi announced the scheme on a day the poll process formally took off as candidates for the first round of polling filed their papers. Minutes before the press conference, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top policy-making body had met to finalise its manifesto.
He had announced a framework for the minimum income guarantee scheme in January. The proposed cash handout is seen as modelled loosely on Universal basic income, a concept attracting growing interest around the world. UBI involves people being given a flat lump sum by the state instead of subsidies and social security payments.