Business Standard

Rahul Gandhi promises Rs 72000/year to 20% poor; BJP laughs it off

Making the announcement at a press conference here, Gandhi said five crore families and 250 million will directly benefit from the scheme

Topics
Rahul Gandhi  |  Lok Sabha Elections 2019  |  Congress Manifesto

BS Web Team | Agencies  |  New Delhi 

Rahul Gandhi
Photo: @INCIndia
BS POLL
How would you rate Rahul Gandhi's promise of Rs 72,000 a year to 20% poor, should the Congress form the next government?
Submit
VIEW ALL POLLS

In a big bang election promise, Congress president on Monday announced that 20 per cent families belonging to the poorest category will be given Rs 72,000 each annually as minimum income if his party comes to power.

Making the announcement at a press conference here, Gandhi said 50 million families and 250 million will directly benefit from the scheme.

"Final assault on poverty has begun. We will wipe out poverty from the country," he said Gandhi said the Congress has studied the fiscal implications of the scheme and consulted renowned economists and experts before finalising the scheme.

"It is an extremely powerful, ground-breaking and well-thought through idea. We have consulted many economists on the scheme," he said. "People have suffered in the last five years and we are going to give justice to them," he added.

A Congress official said any family earning less than Rs 12,000 a month would receive Rs 6,000 every month.

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) dismissed the plan as an enticement on which Congress cannot deliver. BJP's national general secretary Ram Madhav said, "If you are sure about your defeat, you can promise moon. Who takes it seriously? Already under different schemes poor families get much more support. Is it in addition to those schemes or they all will be subsumed in it?"

The number of Indians below the poverty line had fallen to about 65 million, or 5 percent of the population, from 22 percent in 2011, the said on social network Twitter after Gandhi's news conference.

The pledged direct cash support of Rs 6,000 a year for 120 million poor farmers and cut taxes for the middle class last month. It has also rolled out cheap health insurance for the poor.

One analyst said the scheme needed to be designed carefully.

"Large cash-transfer schemes have an important role to play in boosting incomes," said A. Prasanna, head of fixed income research at ICICI Securities in Mumbai.

"However, such schemes will be sustainable in the long run only if they are carefully designed and existing subsidies on food, fuel are subsumed into them."

Dear Reader,


Business Standard has always strived hard to provide up-to-date information and commentary on developments that are of interest to you and have wider political and economic implications for the country and the world. Your encouragement and constant feedback on how to improve our offering have only made our resolve and commitment to these ideals stronger. Even during these difficult times arising out of Covid-19, we continue to remain committed to keeping you informed and updated with credible news, authoritative views and incisive commentary on topical issues of relevance.
We, however, have a request.

As we battle the economic impact of the pandemic, we need your support even more, so that we can continue to offer you more quality content. Our subscription model has seen an encouraging response from many of you, who have subscribed to our online content. More subscription to our online content can only help us achieve the goals of offering you even better and more relevant content. We believe in free, fair and credible journalism. Your support through more subscriptions can help us practise the journalism to which we are committed.

Support quality journalism and subscribe to Business Standard.

Digital Editor

First Published: Mon, March 25 2019. 14:30 IST
RECOMMENDED FOR YOU