This Article is From Mar 27, 2019

Consulted Raghuram Rajan On Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme: Rahul Gandhi

Under Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY, any family earning less than Rs 12,000 a month will receive the difference, up to Rs 6,000, in its bank account.

Rahul Gandhi called the proposal of minimum income guarantee scheme a "final assault on poverty".


  • Congress announced minimum income guarantee programme ahead of polls
  • Up to Rs 72,000 annually will be given to poorest 5 crore families each
  • Congress consulted top economists, will eliminate poverty: Rahul Gandhi

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said that former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan was among top economists that the party consulted to draft its minimum income guarantee scheme Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY. Announced yesterday, the scheme assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month to 20 per cent of India's poorest families if the Congress is voted back to power in the Lok Sabha elections next month.

Any family earning less than Rs 12,000 a month will receive the difference, up to Rs 6,000, in its bank account under the plan. Rahul Gandhi, facing a tough opponent in Prime Minister Narendra Modi, had called the proposal a "final assault on poverty" and said it would benefit 25 crore people.

On Tuesday, addressing a series of rallies in Rajasthan, Mr Gandhi said the scheme was not a "free gift" to the poor but "justice". "Dhamaka hai ye...bomb fatega (It''s a big bang...will set off a bomb). This is Congress's surgical strike on poverty. They (the BJP) worked to eliminate the poor, we will eliminate poverty," he said.

"We consulted all big economists, without telling anyone without giving any speech. We were engaged in this work for six months. Take the list of all big economists of the world, we consulted them (including) Raghuram Rajan," Mr Gandhi added at an event in Jaipur.


Raghuram Rajan backed the idea of universal basic income or UBI.

The programme is likely to have a major impact on the country's exchequer, costing a huge Rs 3.6 lakh crore per year.

When asked about the scheme in an interview with NDTV earlier in the day, Dr Rajan had said, "We have seen over time that giving money directly to the people is often a way of empowering them. They can use that money for the services they need."

"What matters is the details. Is it going to be an add-on or substitute a bunch of things? How do we get to the poor? What we need to understand is what are the things or schemes (subsidies) that will be substituted in the process," the celebrated economist, who had been appointed RBI governor during the Congress-led rule in 2013, added.

Dr Rajan, who returned to teach in the US after his term ended in September 2016, was the first since 1992 not to seek a second term as India's central bank boss. His tenure had faced criticism from leaders in the BJP which came to power in 2014.

The BJP has dismissed the Congress announcement as a poll gimmick lacking details.

The proposed cash handout is seen as modelled loosely on universal basic income, a concept attracting growing interest around the world. Supported by a number economists worldwide as a way to reduce inequality, UBI involves people being given a flat lump sum by the state instead of subsidies and social security payments.