India's poorest families will get Rs 72,000 per year, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi said as he announced the ambitious minimum income promise for the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. “Congress party promises that India's 20%,most poor families will get yearly 72,000 rupees in their bank accounts under minimum basic income guarantee scheme. 5 crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from this scheme. All calculations have been done. There is no such scheme anywhere else in the world,” Gandhi said during a party press conference in Delhi.
This was sort of a formal announcement of party’s mega poll promise. Earlier, in a rally in Dehradun, Gandhi had spoken extensively about his plan to provide dignity to the poor of the country. The announcement comes at a time when Narendra Modi government launched ambitious ‘PM-KISAN scheme’ during its last Budget. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20 on February 1, 2019. Under the Scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. The amount will be given in three installments of Rs 2000 each.
“If (Prime Minister Narendra) Modi can give Rs 30000 crore to Anil Ambani, the Congress can give Rs 72000 per year to India's poorest,” Gandhi said while attacking PM Modi. The minimum income promise can be a game-changer for the Congress at a time when it is attacking the BJP over missing jobs and economic downturn.
Earlier, in a sharp swipe at PM Modi, Gandhi had alleged that his policies destroyed one crore jobs last year and said "India's PM is a joke". Gandhi's criticism of PM Modi came over a media report which claimed that the actual size of India's male workforce, or men who are working, has shrunk for the first time since 1993-94. "I thought India was producing 450 jobs a day. Turns out Modi's policies destroyed 1 crore jobs in 2018. That's 27,000 jobs lost every single day of 2018. India's PM is a joke," he had tweeted.
Earlier in January, financial daily Business Standard had published the findings from the same ‘buried’ NSSO survey had revealed that joblessness stood at 7.8% in urban areas compared with 5.3% in rural areas. The data is significant because this was the first comprehensive assessment of the employment situation conducted after Modi government’s November 8, 2016 decision of demonetization, the report said.