India’s main opposition party The Indian National Congress has raised the stakes for the incumbent Narendra Modi government ahead of Lok Sabha Elections. Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday announced the details of his ‘Minimum Income Guarantee’ plan for every poor person if the party won the 2019 elections.
What is Minimum Income Guarantee?
Guaranteed minimum income (GMI), also called minimum income, is a system of social welfare provision that guarantees that all citizens or families have an income sufficient to live on, provided they meet certain conditions. Eligibility is typically determined by citizenship, a means test, and either availability for the labour market or a willingness to perform community services. The primary goal of a guaranteed minimum income is to reduce poverty.
What is Rahul Gandhi’s Nyunitam Aay Yojna (NYAY)?
The scheme announced on March 25 called NYAY offers Rs 72,000 per annum to the 20% of the families below the poverty line.
“5 crore families and 25 crore people will benefit from the scheme. Minimum Income Line will be Rs 12,000. If your income is below the mark then we will help you get there. This will be a fiscally prudent scheme,” said Rahul Gandhi while addressing the press.
Is it the same as Universal Basic Income (UBI)?
It is unlikely to be the same as Universal Basic Income which is a social security that the government guarantees to its citizens. The pay under UBI is supposed to cover the basic cost of living and it is given is given without the recipient having to pass any test or fulfilling any requirement as such.
Now there could be one major difference among different UBI plans, while some of these could come up with a economic line such as below poverty line over which a person might not avail benefits, others offer a minimum pay to each and everyone alike.
Read here: What is Universal Basic Income plan?
How can you avail benefits of NYAY?
Nyunitam Aay Yojana or NYAY is a proposed scheme. Congress has promised to put it into action if it is voted to power. Thus, we will have to wait until after the elections to see if and how it will be made available to the public.
Is the scheme a political gimmick?
The promise, which created an early buzz in the Lok Sabha campaign, would figure prominently in the Congress manifesto, most likely with details on its target audience and source of its funding.
Minimum income guarantee will allow poor people to poor people to access basic necessities.
Of course, this is assuming that the minimum amount given to the people is enough to cover their basic expenses. Further, the government will have to ensure that the infrastructure is in place to implement a massive programme like this in a complex country like India.