Recently Rahul Gandhi has announced his new scheme 'NYAY' (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) which is also known as Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) scheme to end poverty in india if congress comes into power after 2019 lok sabha elections.He is said to have consulted various famous economists including ex- RBI chairman Raghuram rajan regarding this scheme and working on it since past 6 months, finalizing it after a lot of research. According to this scheme Rahul gandhi promised that 20% of the poorest families in india will be given 72,000/- annually as minimum income.This promises to be benefitting 5 crore families and 25 crore people directly providing them minimum income of 12000/- per month i.e the gap between their actual income and 12000/- would be bridged to their benefit.
Though this looks pretty much similar to the UBI(universal basic income)about which it was discussed in the economic survery 2016-2017, there are some basic differences like the UBI being universal without taking the person's social economic and educational conditions into account and would be transferring money in cash form to every individual whereas, MIG is targetting only the poorest of the poor ensuring they can survive living a dignified life only on the basis of income provided by the government even if they dont have other means of living.
This scheme if implemented, can actually fill the gap between the economic differences of the rich and the poor of the country and can lay foundation to an equal and just India.This will eliminate poverty at grass root levels in the country and can prove an as an effective step taken forward to eradicate poverty even if fiscal burden shows up in this process.
Implementation of this scheme also comes along with complications such as finding who the real beneficiaries are. Data on household income is not really precise so it will not be an easy task to know who actually have a income below the minimum income level as there will be no sure proofs of their income details. And also the country's GDP upto 2% has to be spent on this scheme creating some fiscal problems.Also as the cash is to be transferred on the basis of an individual's aadhar card, many poor people in rural areas would be excluded from availing the benefits of this scheme. Also the inflation in prices would increase basic expenditure of the poor, so the fixed income provided may not suffice.
There are actually many other better ways for the over all development of the country and elimination of poverty instead of implementing MIG to avoid confusion and burden on economy such as: improvising the present schemes to work better and funding money for the improvement of infrastructure and basic public amenities instead of tranferring cash to all the poor families in India. More opportunities for employment should be created in both formal and informal sectors so that both the poor families will be benefitted as well as the human capital of the country wouldn't go wasted in this way. Targeted schemes do posess some kind of risk of being failed because of lack of precise and perfect information at times. Instead of making an attempt for immediate elimination of poverty,the real reasons behind India's poverty rate should be found out first and are to be worked upon so that poverty no longer effects the country's economy in long term and everyone can live a dignified life.
- Harshini Manthripragada