Rahul Gandhi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi at AICC HQ in New Delhi | Suraj Singh Bisht | ThePrint
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New Delhi: The Congress has promised to ensure that every family in the country is guaranteed an income of at least Rs 12,000 per month if it is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections.

Party president Rahul Gandhi made the announcement, of Congress’ minimum income support scheme, at a press conference in New Delhi Monday. He termed it a historic step.

Gareebi pe ye final assault hai (It is a final assault on removing poverty,” said Gandhi. “We can’t have two Hindustans of the poor and the rich. We will have one Hindustan… In the 21st century, we can’t have poverty in India.”

The minimum income support scheme, being touted as the new version of Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao‘ programme of the 1970s, is estimated to benefit 25 crore people, about one-fifth of the country’s poorest.

The scheme, however, doesn’t mean an additional income of Rs 12,000. If a family is already earning a certain amount, say Rs 5,000 per month, it would get Rs 7,000 as assistance from the government.

As per the Congress party’s calculation, a household earns about Rs 6,000 per month and therefore, the additional government assistance would be of Rs 6,000 — which is Rs 72,000 per annum.

Shortly after Gandhi’s announcement, however, BJP general secretary Ram Madhav took a dig at it.

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“If you are sure about your defeat, you can promise the moon. Who takes it seriously? Already under different schemes poor families get much more support,” he tweeted.

NYAY — the minimum income guarantee scheme

The Congress’ scheme has been named NYAY, the Hindi acronym for the minimum income guarantee scheme.

In his press conference, Gandhi said 20 per cent of the poorest of poor families will benefit from the scheme, which the party estimates equals about 25 crore people from 5 crore families.

Terming it a fiscally prudent scheme, Gandhi said the party had consulted economists across the world.

“The Prime Minister has given Rs 3.5 to poor people but he has no qualms in waiving off loans of those who run planes,” he said.

Gandhi further said that the Congress had helped remove 14 crore people from poverty through MNREGA and added that the current step is an extension of that scheme.

“If PM Modi can give money to rich people we can give money to India’s poor,” he said. “This is a historical step in eradicating poverty from the country.”


Also readWhy Rahul Gandhi’s Congress is in danger of morphing into a clueless NGO


 

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14 Comments Share Your Views

14 COMMENTS

  1. I had a a few questions – who can I ask?
    1. Suppose I loose my job and my wife and my son depend on me without any source of income – do I qualify for this scheme
    2. What is defined as a family – does your Mother form part of it once you are Married ? Suppose the Mother gets pension – then in the above scenario do I qulaify for the scheme if
    2.1 I stay with my Mother
    2.2 I do not stay with My Mother
    3. In case a famly who does not have a son and the daugher is Married and the daughter is supporting her rparents. If the she looses her job does the family qualify for Nyay if income < 12,000/-?
    4. Retired people without any income not staying with their with children, not having pension, or income < 12 K p.m do they qualify?

  2. I had a a few questions – who can I ask?
    1. Suppose I loose my job and my wife and my son depend on me without any source of income – do I qualify for this scheme
    2. What is defined as a family – does your Mother form part of it once you are Married ? Suppose the Mother gets pension – then in the above scenario do I qulaify for the scheme if
    2.1 I stay with my Mother
    2.2 I do not stay with My Mother
    3. In case a famly who does not have a son and the daugher is Married and the daughter is supporting her rparents. If the she looses her job does the family qualify for Nyay if income < 12,000/-?
    4. Retired people without any income not staying with their with children, not having pension, or income < 12 K p.m do they qualify?

  3. One inevitable consequence of such policies – If you gentlemen can give 6,000 rupees per annum, we can give that much each month – is high inflation. That was one of the potent factors that led to UPA ‘s electoral dbacle. High oil and commodity prices, lax monetary and fiscal policies to combat the 2008 GFC, continuing, generous increases in MSP for agricultural crops, other welfar schemes embeeded double digit inflatiom into the system. Subdued inflation is pretty much the only positive in the economy today. Let it not be chucked out of the window by thoughtless populism.

  4. This is a truly commendable effort if it fructifies. 6000 per month is a princely amount for those who are very poor. Except for one catch – – for urban poor, much of this money will be taken away by the local “bania” by jacking up the prices of food grain and commodities of daily need.

    Sooner or later the new government will have to NATIONALIZE the farm to consumer link. No benefit to the common man, above or below the poverty line can happen until the greedy middlemen are thrown out of the chain. Consumers and farmers both are not even able to survive properly because of a number of such parasites down the line. And the entire species of small and big banias are the faithful voters of the BJP. This is one more reason why this party must lose in the coming elections.

  5. The economic orthodoxy of the Congress has not advanced one inch beyond Mrs Gandhi’s Garibi Hatao. It was the wise Dr Singh who said, India cannot spend its way out of poverty. The 3.6 trillion this scheme requires will tear a gash in the fisc, preempt resources away from education and healthcare, both of which are the basic building blocks of human capital. In a way, this announcement answers questions many – including National Interest – have been raising about what the Congress is offering as an alternative when it assails the incumbent’s poor record on job creation or economic growth, more generally. India should remain eternally grateful to PM PVNR for 1991 – Majboori mein karna pada, lekin sahi kadam uthaya. The way economic stress is building up 1991 2.0 – it ought to have been 4.0 by now – will become unavoidable.

  6. ‘Garibi Hatao’ was a jumla and so is this. Unfortunately the most crucial elections in India’s history that will decide whether Indian democracy will take a break – even if for a short duration of next 5 years – from dynastic governance (or lack of it) is being fought with lousy tactics on all sides.

  7. In addition to what have said, the BJP should not disregard this scheme with disdain and contempt. It has some inherent attraction and vote catching ability. BJP should come up with a better scheme that is more credible, more specific in respect of identification of beneficiaries and should cost less to the exchequer.

    • BJP, just like any arrogant and expedient incumbent, is living with its own echo chamber. As such the party is short on talent, and therefore, a last minute, sensible, albeit reactive, counter economic narrative would be difficult to present. Expect shallow dismissive statements from the party’s spokespersons in TV debates today evening. The battle on economic front is already lost. At least Congress does NOT pretend to be free-market oriented, and is consistently socialist, but BJP, with its free-market orientation, has produced nothing noteworthy to galvanise the economy. Its middle-of-the-road strategy (neither fully free market nor purely socialist) fail to deliver, and now it will be interesting to see whether the voters get influenced by another jumla, this time by the aspiring monarch of our great Indian democracy.

  8. Unfortunately, Rahul gandhi was not able to explain the detailed arithmetic of the scheme. He just said that P.Chidambaram is working on it. But back of the envelope calculations tell us that for 5 core families, payment of average Rs.72000 per annum per family would come to Rs.3.60 trillion, a sizeable amount comprising more than 10% of the total budget expenditure of the country. Prima facie, it seems nothing more than a kite flying exercise. Furthermore, for average 5 members of per family the dole works out to to Rs.14400 per person per year or Rs.39.45 per person per day.

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