Congress on Tuesday clarified that its minimum income guarantee initiative, NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana), is not a "top-up scheme" but assures Rs 72,000 to 20 per cent of India's poorest families.
Addressing a press conference, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala accused the BJP of being "anti-poor".
"Rs 72,000 will be provided to 5 crore of the poorest families of the country. This is not a top-up scheme as all 20 per cent families will be given Rs 72,000 per year. This is a women-centric scheme as the amount will be deposited in the account of the woman of the family. The scheme will cover both urban and rural poor of the country. This is the biggest scheme in the world which will be implemented in independent India," he said.
"If someone is earning Rs 6,000 then other 6,000 will be given and this is how it is topped-up but in 5 crore families, it is not possible to analyze the income of all five crore families. Hence if someone earns 7,000, we have to give him 72,000 hence we will be topping-up 6,000 per month. It is a top-up based on average but everyone will be given 72,000 per year."
Attacking Prime Minister Modi, Surjewala added, "We want to ask Modi government whether they are in favour of NYAY scheme or not because their leaders are criticising this scheme. If Prime Minister Modi can waive off Rs 3,17,000 crore of a handful of rich businessmen why are they objecting to payment of Rs 72,000 to poor?"
Continuing his tirade against the ruling party, Surjewala said the Prime Minister should tell his party how "bank fraudsters Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya absconded from the country under his patronage."
"He has spent country's Rs 210 crore for 89 foreign tours and Rs 5,000 crore of public on advertisements, why are they opposing the payment of Rs 72,000 to the poorest?" the Congress leader asked, while assuring that when the five-year term of next Congress government gets over, the remaining poverty will cease to exist.
"When poor will have more money the country's economy will grow at rapid pace," he stated.
Earlier on Monday, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had announced that if his party comes to power, it will implement a "ground-breaking" Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), under which 20 per cent of the poorest families of the country will be entitled to up to Rs 72,000 per year.
Describing the scheme as unique in the entire world, he told media here that the minimum income guarantee scheme will be implemented in a phased manner as part of the "final assault on poverty".