The Congress has promised to provide a monthly income of Rs. 72,000 per annum to the poorest families, if voted to power.
Addressing the media after the Congress Working Committee meeting in New Delhi on Monday, party president Rahul Gandhi elaborated his party plan for a minimum income guarantee to the 20 per cent of the poorest families.
The scheme named as Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY will ensure that the poorest of the poor families get an income of Rs. 12,000 per month.
Explaining the scheme, Mr. Gandhi said, “Minimum income threshold is Rs 12,000. Any family earning less than this, the government will pay the difference.”
If a family earns, say, Rs. 6000 per month, the remaining Rs.6,000 will be credited to their account. If a family reaches the threshold, they will not be eligible for the scheme.
Calling it “an extremely powerful, dynamic idea,” Mr. Gandhi said the party consulted with numerous economists before making the announcement.
“We have taken into account the fiscal repercussions… it is entirely possible,” he added.
Claiming that the UPA government lifted over 14 crore people out of poverty with the rural employment guarantee scheme, MNREGA, Mr. Gandhi said “It is not acceptable for the Congress that there are poor people in the 21st century… This is the final assault on poverty.”
The Congress, if voted to power, plans to implement the scheme in a phases beginning with a pilot project.
The official Twitter handle of Congress later tweeted that the scheme will benefit five crore families.