Rahul Gandhi promises minimum income scheme, says 20% families to get Rs 72K annually


The Congress’s assurance of a minimum income guarantee, particulars of which were revealed by the party on Monday, is the topmost among some recent estimates of how much the poor could be given as income transfer by the government and what it would worth.
The party has decided a minimum income guarantee line of Rs 12,000, similar to a poverty line. The party also consider that any Indian household should meet this monthly income threshold to rescue poverty.
According to specifics available so far, any shortfall from the minimum income line, counting on where a household is placed on the income-distribution ladder, will be made better through an income transfer.
The programme assures the lowest quintile (or the poorest 20% households) a monthly salary transfer of Rs 6,000, assuming this will pull them up to the level of Rs 12,000.
According to party’s estimates, the poorest 20% deciphers into 250 million people or 50 million households. Addressing the poorest quintile will ensure no household will have an income less than Rs 12,000, affirming to the party’s internal measures.
There are two broad official measures of poverty: the Suresh Tendulkar poverty line, in 2009, which was castigated for being set too low at Rs 4,050 per household per month in rural areas and Rs 4,950 in urban. It was altered by the Rangarajan Committee in 2012. Nor yet poverty line, however, is now used for anti-poverty programmes. Instead, the government uses the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC).
The number of households aimed by Congress closely approximates that of the Rangarajan poverty predictions. According to the Rangarajan committee, about 29.5% of the Indian population (or 269 million people) is below the poverty line, which was updated to Rs 4,800 a month for a household of five in rural areas and Rs 7,050 per month for a household of five in urban areas.
Experts say it will be challenging to regulate household incomes. Policymakers now use household expenditure as a proxy for income data.
“Household income data at the national level doesn’t prevail. Such data do stay at the state level assembled by state statistical bureaus, which then have to be swept up by Central Statistics Office,” said economist Amitabh Kundu. People turned to them underreport incomes, he said.
“Income data is available. We do have a sense of income sharing. How do you think bias figures are arrived at? There is the Centre for Monitoring of Indian Economy for instance. There is definitely the SECC. That there is no formal income data and thus I can’t embark on a final mission to finish poverty is the most foolish excuse,” said Praveen Chakravarty, chairperson of the Congress’s data analytics department.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has alleged there is fiscal space available for the programme. Yet, there will be an appreciable debate on this. The government’s dispense and borrowings have to meet limits set by the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act, 2003.

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The Union government criticized the Congress promise as a poll gimmick. “Rahul Gandhi has talked about minimum income guarantee. Was stunned. He has thought of the poor now? His grandmother had called for eliminating poverty long ago. We thought poverty was elapsed,” Union law minister Ravi Shankar Prasad stated to ANI.
Soon after the Gandhi gave the particulars of the plan, finance minister Arun Jaitley called it a “con announcement” in a blog.
In accordance with economist Gurbachan Singh of the Indian Statistical Institute, at 2019-20 prices, 1.5% of the GDP adjoins to about Rs 2.82 lakh crore a year. This is approximately in line with one of the latest estimates for an income-transfer plan by economists Josh Felman, Boban Paul, MR Sharan and Arvind Subramanian (1.3% of GDP).

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