Image used for representational purposes
Image used for representational purposes(Photo: Reuters)
  • 1. What Is Congress' Idea
  • 2. How’s Congress’ Idea Different From UBI Floated in 2016-17
  • 3. What Amount Will People Receive
  • 4. Where Will the Money Come From
  • 5. How Many Subsidies Can Be Axed
  • 6. Unanswered Questions
Congress’ Minimum Income Guarantee: The Promise and Feasibility

With less than 100 days to go for the general elections, the Congress party has made a poll promise that has set the pundits analysing. On Monday, 28 January, the party’s President Rahul Gandhi said that his party would ensure a Minimum Income Guarantee for every poor in the country if it returns to power after the Lok Sabha polls due in April-May.

The announcement which on face value is a major poll promise, gains more traction amid reports of the Modi government coming up with a version of the direct cash transfer and it may be announced in the forthcoming budget.

  • 1. What Is Congress' Idea

    Breaking down the scheme that the Congress is proposing, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has explained that the minimum income guarantee scheme is an adaptation of the Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme.

    What the Congress is indicating is a kind of basic income scheme or direct cash transfer to the poor. It theoretically means subsuming some of the existing subsidies, and distribution of the amount thus saved to the needy in cash.

    The idea was floated by the then UPA government months before the 2014 Lok Sabha elections and later as a more holistic and concrete idea by the then Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian in the Economic Survey for the fiscal year 2016-17.

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