Congress President Rahul Gandhi said on Monday that nearly 25 crore poor people in the country will get financial assistance of Rs 72,000 per annum if the party is voted to power under the ambitious minimum income guarantee scheme which the party has named "Nyay".
Announcing the details of the party's promised scheme at a media briefing here, Gandhi said the Congress will provide Rs 72,000 per annum to 20 per cent of the poorest families in the country. The scheme will benefit 5 crore families and 25 crore individuals directly, according to Gandhi.
He said the scheme was "unprecedented in the world". "Nyay" (the minimum income scheme) will be the Congress' major poll promise ahead of the Lok Sabha elections and Gandhi termed it as "a final assault on poverty".
He said the "minimum income line" is Rs 12,000 per annum and the scheme will benefit individuals earning less than that.
BJP leader Arun Jaitley slammed Rahul Gandhi's promise of giving Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest families as a "bluff announcement" and
Reacting to this poll promise by the Congress, finance minister Arun Jaitley called it a "Bluff Announcement" and yet another Congress bid to "cheat" the poor, and asserted the Modi government was already giving one-and-a-half times more money to them.
Surjit Bhalla, economist and former member of the Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), Narendra Taneja, spokesperson, BJP and Sulaiman Mohd Khan, spokesperson, Congress, discussed the Congress' promise and the BJP's response.
Bhalla said, “It is doable but I think the whole scheme – if I may say so – is rather wonky and I even tweeted about it a couple of hours back. From what I understand and it is quite clear that the Congress hasn’t quite explained it in detail."
Khans said, “This is one of the schemes, which is completely going to be a game changer. The decision was taken after quite deliberations with important people, experts in the field."
Taneja said, “When you know that you are not coming to power, you are already working for 2024 and 2029 elections, you can promise anything. Today, Rahul Gandhi was talking about the DBT forgetting that till 2014, 67 percent of Indians didn’t have bank accounts."