As part of the Congress manifesto for general
elections 2019, Congress chief Rahul Gandhi has announced that 20% of the
poorest families in India would be annually given Rs. 72,000 each under the
Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) or minimum income guarantee scheme, if his party was
voted to power.
Under the NYAY, the income threshold has been
fixed at Rs. 12000 per month. The government would pay the difference.
The proposed minimum income guarantee scheme is
in the same line as a universal basic income (UBI) scheme.
UBI is a minimum income (direct cash transfers) delivered
by the state unconditionally to every individual every month. It is premised on
the belief that every person should have a right to a basic income to cover
their needs, just by virtue of being citizens.
The concept of UBI got prominence in India, after
the Economic Survey of 2017 promoted the idea of UBI as “a conceptually
appealing idea” and a possible alternative to social welfare programs targeted
at bringing down poverty. . Economic Survey had outlined three components of UBI–universality,
unconditionality and agency.