Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit Tuesday lauded party president Rahul Gandhi’s minimum income guarantee programme announcement saying “it is one of the biggest decisions ever taken to benefit the poor”. Addressing a press conference in Delhi, Dixit showcased pamphlets to the media that displayed the slogan ‘Aay pe charcha’ (Talk on income).
“As far as I remember, this is one of the biggest decisions ever taken to benefit the poor anywhere in the world. People are praising this announcement (minimum income). We are receiving countless phone calls saying that it is a big step towards the welfare of poor people in the country,” said Dikshit.
While replying to a question on a possibility of an alliance with the Aam Admi Party, the former Delhi chief minister said that decision will be taken by Congress president. “When a decision will be taken then we will inform the media. Ultimately the decision is to be taken by Rahul Gandhi as he is the party president, all will abide by what he decides,” Dikshit was quoted as saying by ANI.
In the same conference, Congress leader Rajesh Lilothia told reporters that the party will launch a programme called ‘Aay pe charcha’ which will focus on providing employment opportunities in the country.
Delhi Congress working president Haroon Yusuf also told reporters that the universal basic income announcement is a significant development towards benefitting the sections of Indian population living below the poverty line.
“Before coming to power, BJP had promised to deposit Rs.15 lakh in poor people’s bank accounts and double farmers’ income. People have realised that they have been bluffed. Medium and small businesses are still trying to recover from the shocks of demonetisation and GST,” Yusuf said.
According to the Central Statistics Office, there were 24.95 crore households in India in 2011. If every household in the bottom 20 per cent is eligible for this income, this translates into a total expenditure of about Rs 3.6 lakh crore annually — over six times the outlay of Rs 55,000 crore under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme in Budget 2019.