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Minimum Income Scheme : Expert’s cast doubt over Congress’ hasty poll gambit

The Congress on Monday announced it will transfer Rs. 72000 per annum to bank accounts of around 50 million poor families – if it is voted to power. The scheme is said to help poorest of the poor with minimum income of atleast Rs. 6000,  while also promising to not let income fall below Rs. 12000 for such families.

While unveiling the 3.6 lakh crore promise named Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), Congress president Rahul Gandhi reassured “This is the final assault on poverty”. This is second such scheme being promised by grandold party to bring people out of poverty with last such scheme being Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme or MNREGA and subsequently naming this one as MNREGA-II. “We alleviated 14 crore (140 million) Indians out of poverty through MNREGA-I. This is the second phase where 25 crore (250 million) people will be alleviated,” said Gandhi.

Finance minister, Arun Jaitley, however shrugged off the announcement as an ‘complete eyewash’ claiming government is already spending more on similar schemes but just in multiple pay cheques.

Internal calculations done by Congress’ 3-member committee – consisting of former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ex-finance minister P. Chidambaram and head of Congress data analytics department Pravin Chakravarty-pinned the burden at around 1.5%of the total GDP.

“One the family crosses the notional limit of 12000 per month, it would be out of the ambit of scheme” Chakravarty said while talking to Economic Times newspaper.

UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath who was addressing Vijay Sankalp Rally in Gorakhpur responded by calling it a “poll gimmick” while also accusing them of obstructing construction of controversial Ram mandir.

Various experts “NYAY reflects a welcome commitment to social security. The soundness of this proposal, however, depends on how it is to be financed and how the poorest 20 per cent are to be identified. Hopefully, the proposal will improve even as the commitment remains,” senior Development Economist Jean Dreze told Press Trust of India.
Syeda Ahmed, a former Planning Commission member, while supporting the scheme cast doubt about ‘fiscal burden’ on exchequer.

” Surgical strike on poverty ” as Rahul Gandhi called it, is going to be an contentious poll issue which is only few weeks ahead.

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