Congress leader Rahul Gandhi Tuesday said his party’s pet-project of minimum income guarantee scheme (NYAY) would be implemented across India if it is successful in Kerala. Gandhi was speaking at a poll meeting in Manarcad in Puthuppally Assembly constituency, the pocketborough of former chief minister Oommen Chandy.
The NYAY scheme, first mooted by Congress ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, has been listed as one of the key promises in the manifesto of the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) in the state.
“It’s something the people of Kerala cannot even imagine. It doesn’t matter if you are an autorickshaw driver or a rubber farmer, it’s beyond your expectations. We are going to take Rs 6,000 a month and give it to every single family in Kerala. It means Rs 72,000 a year going straight into your bank account,” Gandhi said, explaining the scheme.
“And we know what’s going to happen next. The moment that money goes into your bank account, you are going to start spending that money. And the moment you start spending that money, people will need to produce products that you buy. And the moment people need products, somebody is going to make those products and people will get jobs in factories that make those products.”
The Congress leader added that he’s confident of the success of the idea and its impact on boosting the incomes and spending power of the poorest of the poor.
“I want to test it and if it works in Kerala, we are going to do it in the rest of the country. Kerala is going to show the rest of India how to fight poverty once and for all. We have to demolish this wall of poverty. We can take advantage of the strength, dynamism and intelligence of the people of Kerala,” he underlined.
Gandhi also assured the rubber farmers of the state, who are predominantly based in central Kerala districts of Kottayam, Idukki and Pathanamthitta, that if the UDF is voted to power, they would get a minimum support price of Rs 250 for the crop.