Addressing the media after the Congress Working Committee meeting, party president Rahul Gandhi said they will provide Rs. 72,000 per annum to the poorest families, if voted to power.
The scheme would cover 5 crore families and benefit nearly 25 crore people, said Gandhi after the Congress Working Committee cleared the plan that party president described as the "final assault on poverty”.
This is about justice for the poor, said Gandhi at a press conference to announce the contours of the guarantee scheme that will make its way to the Congress manifesto ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The scheme is named as NYAY or Nyuntam Aay Yojana. Gandhi had been talking about minimum income gurantee for a while.
"We are going to give you justice. Remember the number… The Congress guarantees that 20 per cent of India’s poor would make at least Rs 72,000 annually,” he said, describing it as a historic move.
The Congress chief insisted that the plan was "fiscally prudent” and implementable.
This does not mean everyone would get the Rs 12,000 dole. Gandhi explained that if a family makes Rs 6,000, the government would chip in the rest to raise the monthly family income to Rs 12,000.
"Minimum income threshold is Rs 12,000. Any family earning less than this, the government will pay the difference," Gandhi said.
Claiming the scheme is an extremely powerful, dynamic idea, Gandhi said in a way, it was the second phase of MNREGA.
"It is not acceptable to the Congress that there are poor people in the 21st century... The final assault on poverty is beginning," he added.
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