New Delhi: Congress president Rahul Gandhi said that ‘big economists’ including former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan were consulted by his party before drafting minimum income guarantee scheme Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY).

Announcing the scheme after party’s working committee meeting on Monday, Gandhi assured to provide Rs 72,000 or Rs 6,000 per month to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families every year if the Congress is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.

“We consulted all big economists, without telling anyone without giving any speech. We were engaged in this work for six months. Take the list of all big economists of the world, we consulted them (including) Raghuram Rajan,”Gandhi said at an event in Jaipur on Tuesday.

Appreciating the scheme, the Congress president further said,”It (minimum income guarantee scheme) was not a ‘free gift’ to the poor but ‘justice’. This is a Congress’s surgical strike on poverty. They (the BJP) worked to eliminate the poor, we will eliminate poverty.”

Earlier on Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised to give Rs 72,000 every year to 20 per cent of the poorest families if his party voted to power in the forthcoming polls.

“If Narendra Modi can give money to the rich, Congress party will give the money to the poor. We will do justice by the poor people of the country through the Minimum Income Guarantee scheme. Congress party guarantees that 20% of the families below poverty line will get Rs 72000 annually,” Rahul Gandhi said. He had claimed that five crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from the scheme.