Lok Sabha elections 2019: States will have to share cost of Nyay, says Congress
In devising its minimum income guarantee promise, the Congress had consulted leading French economist Thomas Pickety, whose work on income and wealth inequality have caught global attention, a leader of the party said in a television interview. The party also talked to Raghuram Rajan, former Reserve Bank of India governor and the Katherine Dusak Miller professor of finance at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, and Abhijit Banerjee, the Ford Foundation international professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said Praveen Chakravarty, chairperson of the Congress’s data department.
“It is not appropriate for me to name them but I believe those names have publicly acknowledged that they were consulted by us and so that is true,” Chakravarty told in an interview to Karan Thapar’s Upfront show.
Earlier this week, Congress president Rahul Gandhi had announced the minimum income guarantee scheme, Nyuntam Ayay Yojana, promising Rs 72,000 income per annum to 20% poorest families of the country. The idea behind the Nyay was that “there must be a certain basic minimum standard of living for every Indian family in the 21st century”, Chakavarty said.
He said the another facet of the scheme was to enable economic freedom. “When you provide people with cash, that’s unconditional, then you give them not just minimum income support, but you also give them the economic freedom in how they would use that cash.” States will have to bear a part of the overall costs, which won’t wreck the country’s fiscal discipline, he said, providing details of the scheme.
The party has set a minimum income guarantee line of Rs 12,000, akin to a poverty line. The party also assumes that any Indian household should meet this monthly income threshold to escape poverty. “Based on data sets, we realised that the poorest 20% of Indian families on average earn Rs 6000 a month. Remember the Congress brought in the NREGA under which there is a minimum living that Indian family can get through NREGA wages.”