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‘More than defence budget, Congress’s income plan almost impossible’: Arvind Panagariya

Former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya has said that the Congress’s minimum income guarantee poll promise would cost 13 per cent of the Union Budget.

lok-sabha-elections Updated: Apr 02, 2019 11:47 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya has said that the Congress’s poll promise to implement minimum income guarantee scheme is almost impossible to roll out.
Former NITI Aayog vice-chairman Arvind Panagariya has said that the Congress’s poll promise to implement minimum income guarantee scheme is almost impossible to roll out.(ANI)
         

Former vice-chairman of NITI Aayog Arvind Panagariya has said that the Congress’s promise to implement minimum income guarantee scheme would be “almost impossible” to roll out. Panagariya said the NYAY (Nyuntama Aay Yojana) that Congress president Rahul Gandhi recently announced would cost 13 per cent of the Union Budget making it a tough fiscal decision to take.

“If you are giving Rs 72,000 per annum to 5 crore families then there will be an expense of Rs 3.6 Lakh crore. This is 13 per cent of the total budget of central government. No one has given details of scheme that how Rs 3.6 Lakh core will be arranged to implement it. It’s more than our defence budget. Fiscal situation is always tight. It’s almost impossible to take out 13 per cent of the budget,” news agency ANI quoted Panagariya as saying.

The Congress has promised to provide cash support to the poorest 20 per cent households of the country if it is voted to power in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The party promised to target five crore families or 25 crore individuals as beneficiaries of the scheme.

Gandhi has called it a “revolutionary” scheme that “will change the face of India”. The proposed scheme has been criticised by the ruling BJP with Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley trashing it as a “bluff announcement” in a blog.

The Congress hopes to come back to power on the back of the NYAY poll promise combining it with its sharp attack on the Modi government on the front of unemployment. Gandhi has targeted the government saying that under the BJP-led regime, the unemployment rate has reached the highest level in 45 years.

First Published: Apr 02, 2019 10:31 IST

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