Ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, former Congress President Rahul Gandhi had pitched for a surgical strike on poverty. Gandhi had said if the Congress was voted to power at the Centre, his government will transfer Rs 72,000 a year into the accounts of the countrys five crore poor.
The Congress named the scheme NYAY, or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Minimum Income Scheme), in an attempt to deliver justice to the countrys poorest poor.
The scheme was also seen as a rejoinder to PM Modis KISAN Yojana, wherein he promised to transfer Rs 6,000 annually (in three equal installments) to the countrys over 12 crore farmers.
Rahul Gandhi, along with other party leaders, used the NYAY Scheme extensively during his campaign trail ahead of the Lok Sabha polls. However, after the Congress drubbing, the party has hardly used NYAY as a poll plank for the upcoming Maharashtra and Haryana Assembly Polls.
Why has the Congress been evasive about the NYAY scheme and did it really help the party pick up steam, lets find out.
Did NYAY resonate with the voters?
NYAY was launched by the Grand Old Party on March 25, weeks before the polling for Lok Sabha elections began, in an attempt to counter the hyper nationalistic agenda being promulgated by the BJP after the Pulwama terror attack and the Balakot airstrike.
Even though the announcement was late, the Congress hoped to draw attention on the issues of poverty and unemployment through the scheme and project itself as pro-poor.
A post-poll survey by Lokniti showed that among the poor voters who would have been the beneficiary of the scheme only 46 percent were aware about NYAY, a marginal increase from 44 percent recorded in the pre-poll survey.
This meant that despite trying to popularize the scheme through ads, hoardings, etc, awareness about NYAY missed a significant chunk of the target audience.
The post-poll survey also pointed out that respondents had a mixed opinion of the scheme. Around 36% thought the Congress would be able to implement the scheme if it came to power, and an equal proportion thought otherwise. Moreover, around 25%, or one-fourth, were not sure or could not say whether the Congress would be able to keep its promise.
Experts believe that PM Modis KISAN scheme overshadowed NYAY as by the time Congress announced it, farmers had already received the first installment. In addition, reports of the Congress not fulfilling their promise of increasing the minimum support price in Chhattisgarh and Haryana dissuaded the voters from choosing the Congress.
Many were of the opinion that the NYAY scheme was commissioned in haste, not considering Indias fiscal situation at the moment. The scheme involved uniform cash transfers of Rs 72,000 a year, or Rs 6,000 a month, to the poorest 20 percent households, or about 50 crore households based on 2011 Census data.
Which meant, the scheme required a mind-boggling sum of Rs 360,000 crore a year, or close to 2 percent of Indias current GDP.
However, the Congress claimed that it was feasible. They had taken inputs from noted MIT professor Abhijit Banerjee, who is a staunch supporter of Universal Basic Income. Although he had suggested a minimum income guarantee of Rs 2,500 a month keeping in mind fiscal discipline. The scheme would have the cost the exchequer Rs 1.50 lakh crore.
While being cautious about the tax reforms that the incoming government would have to introduce to fund the NYAY scheme, Banerjee had said it would only be the first step and eventually central subsidies can be withdrawn.
On October 14, 2019, Abhijit Banerjee, along with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer, was awarded the Nobel Prize for Economics for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty.
Why is the Congress evasive about NYAY?
Congress' chief spokesperson for Maharashtra, Sachin Sawant, told Moneycontrol that NYAY could be implemented only at the Central level, and is not feasible at the state level.
He said, "NYAY was a part of the manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, and we would have implemented it had we formed the government at the Centre. [It cannot be implemented in Maharashtra or Haryana] Because the state cannot afford to put Rs 72,000 in every account."
"Instead of that, today we have brought in other schemes such as Rs 1,500 for senior citizens' accounts as a pension. NYAY was necessary for the national economy, and it was mocked at by the BJP. But you see now that person who was a part of formulating it has got a Nobel today," Sawant added.
Go here to see the original:
- Basic Income as 40 Acres and a Mule - Basic Income News - October 16th, 2019
- 'Most Americans Don't Want To Work for the Federal Government' Says Andrew Yang, Trashing Federal Jobs Guarantee - Reason - October 16th, 2019
- Democratic debate highlights: best and most substantive answers of the night - Vox.com - October 16th, 2019
- Sanders: 'Damn right we will' have a job for every American | TheHill - The Hill - October 16th, 2019
- Letter to the Editor: Universal basic income is inevitable as we head toward a fully automated society - The Post - October 16th, 2019
- Democrats focus on some Midwestern issues at Westerville debate, a departure from past three forums - cleveland.com - October 16th, 2019
- New book reviews the Namibian Basic Income pilot - Basic Income News - October 1st, 2019
- Basic Income Calgary - May 26th, 2019
- Basic Income Calgary - April 11th, 2019
- Basic Income Calgary - April 6th, 2019
- Quick notes from Basic Income Guarantee Panel - falicon.com - January 28th, 2019
- 'Hartz reforms': how a benefits shakeup changed Germany ... - January 28th, 2019
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - January 3rd, 2019
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - January 1st, 2019
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - December 2nd, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - November 17th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - November 11th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - November 9th, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - November 8th, 2018
- Basic Income Guarantee - Your Right to Economic Security ... - November 8th, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - November 5th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - September 20th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - September 18th, 2018
- The Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee ... - September 18th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - August 29th, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - August 23rd, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - August 22nd, 2018
- Basic income could end food insecurity - Upstream - August 21st, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - July 15th, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - June 27th, 2018
- Is a Basic Income Guarantee the Right Choice for Ontario? - June 27th, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - June 26th, 2018
- Is a Basic Income Guarantee the Right Choice for Ontario? - June 26th, 2018
- Basic Income Canada Network - June 16th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - March 17th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - March 16th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - March 15th, 2018
- Basic Income Guarantee - Your Right to Economic Security ... - February 28th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - February 23rd, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - February 19th, 2018
- Basic Income Now | It's time for dignity for all - February 16th, 2018
- 'Me too' and the basic income guarantee | Basic Income News - February 6th, 2018
- Food shopping at dollar stores | Brantford Expositor - Brantford Expositor - August 24th, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 24th, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 21st, 2017
- How Cities Can Rebuild the Social Safety Net - CityLab - August 20th, 2017
- After lifting minimum wage, NDP government prepares to consult public about reducing poverty - Straight.com - August 16th, 2017
- Universal Basic Infrastructure to help decrease India's poverty - Economic Times - August 14th, 2017
- New Zealand Fabians host Basic Income panel - Basic Income News - August 13th, 2017
- Hashtag Trending Battery-free phone, Apple's China backlash - IT World Canada - August 10th, 2017
- Universal basic income proponent to speak in Boise - Idaho Press-Tribune - August 7th, 2017
- Let's talk about a supplemental income - The Hindu - August 7th, 2017
- Is a Well-Paying Job the next Entitlement Program? - Big Think (blog) - August 5th, 2017
- DON PRIDMORE: Be careful what you wish for... - The Guardian - August 1st, 2017
- EDITORIAL: Island needs dollars, not data, to cope with poverty - The Guardian - July 29th, 2017
- Renfrew County dietitian recognized by board of health for provincial award - www.insideottawavalley.com/ - July 27th, 2017
- More Calgarians struggle to feed their families over the summer months - CBC.ca - July 26th, 2017
- NEW ORLEANS, LA, US: Local basic income group begins to hold monthly meetings - Basic Income News - July 25th, 2017
- Value in using tax system for basic income: Report - The Sudbury Star - July 21st, 2017
- Does Basic Income Solve Anything? Grasp the Arguments for and ... - Futurism - July 21st, 2017
- NDP leadership candidate visits Guelph (8 photos) - GuelphToday - July 18th, 2017
- UBI is just a bedtime story Elon Musk tells himself to help the super-wealthy sleep - Quartz - July 14th, 2017
- Basic Income Guarantee program moving forward for 2000 Lindsay residents - Kawartha Media Group - July 8th, 2017
- Net incomes under a Basic Income system - Basic Income News - July 1st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - KHOU - June 24th, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - 9NEWS.com - June 21st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - KPNX 12 News TV - June 21st, 2017
- Should all Americans receive a guaranteed income? - First Coast News - June 20th, 2017
- Study of Iran's basic income shows it did not harm employment - Basic Income News - June 7th, 2017
- The Case For Basic Income - June 6th, 2017
- Basic income plan doable: Northern study - The Sudbury Star - June 6th, 2017
- About That Universal Basic Income Idea - FITSNews - June 6th, 2017
- Universal basic income: guarantee pay as way to improve quality of life - WatertownDailyTimes.com - June 6th, 2017
- Letters: Guaranteed income guarantees sloth - The Province - June 6th, 2017
- Basic-income guarantee is way to end poverty - Times Colonist - March 11th, 2017
- Basic Income in Argentine News - Basic Income News - March 10th, 2017
- Industry body bats for universal basic income for women - Times of India - March 8th, 2017
- Basic Income Guarantee - Your Right to Economic Security ... - March 4th, 2017
- A guaranteed income isn't the solution to widespread unemployment - Acton Institute (blog) - March 1st, 2017
- Australia Needs A Universal Basic Income, And We Should Start ... - Huffington Post Australia - February 24th, 2017