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Once in power, party will form expert committee on NYAY rollout, says Congress' Praveen Chakravarty

Updated : March 27, 2019 10:10 PM IST

Congress on Wednesday said that once in power, the party will form an expert committee to design the rollout plan of minimum income guarantee scheme called Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY).

In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Praveen Chakravarty, chairman of data analytics department of Congress, said, "The poorest 20 percent of all Indian families or households will get the same uniform amount of Rs 6,000 a month or Rs 72,000 a year. That is five crore families will get Rs 6,000 a month, Rs 72,000 a year. If five crore poorest families get Rs 6,000 a month, by today’s data standards, the average income of the poorest 20 percent of households is Rs 6,000 a month. They then get Rs 6,000 more and hence the inference or the imputed minimum income becomes Rs 12,000. However, that is just an outcome of the scheme, it is not the desired goal or the objective of the scheme."

"I would urge all of you to go back and reread the chapter on basic income that was in the Economic Survey of 2017. It is one of the most remarkable pieces of policy literature in economic surveys and it lays out all the details pretty clearly. First and foremost, we must understand that there is a social justice equity element to this. The second part of it is what we think is the basic minimum amount that most Indian families should earn in today’s India. Then comes the actual amount of transfer that is Rs 6,000 a month for every household. Before I answer what is the math for it, we must step back and see the implementation plan. We have been working on this for the past few months. We have involved economists and experts from all over the world and in India. We have acquired data sets, we have acquired policy expertise, we have acquired economic expertise, we have studied examples from all over the world and we have arrived at a certain framework. Also, we will bring the states together and then we will start rolling it out in phases,” Chakravarty said.

In terms of funding this plan, he said, “I think the simplest math is what you have done which is five crore families, Rs 72,000 a year, hence Rs 3.6 lakh crore, it is close to 2 percent of today’s gross domestic product (GDP). So first and foremost, we have to look at both the revenue side and the expenditure side in terms of how we are going to finance this. We believe that for a scheme like this, we do have the economic, the fiscal and the state capacity to be able to launch a scheme like this today. I admit, India was not ready for this 10 years ago or 20 years ago. Today, we are a two hundred lakh crore economy, nominal GDP growing 15-16 percent. Today, the current expenditure of the centre and the states combined is Rs 60 lakh crore and we spend that amount today. At its peak, in the simplest math that you did, this is Rs 3.5 lakh crore. So, we are looking at Rs 3.5 lakh crore of Rs 200 lakh crore GDP, which is today’s GDP which will grow or Rs 3.5 lakh crore of Rs 60 lakh crore of combined expenditure."
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