New Delhi: Terming Congress party’s minimum income guarantee ‘NYAY’ scheme a doable and “well worth”, former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) governor Raghuram Rajan admitted that he has offered his views to the main Opposition party on the same.
“I have spoken to Congress leaders, including party president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh and former finance minister P Chidambaram on the topic (NYAY), “said Rajan, on being asked about Rahul Gandhi’s claim that the Congress leadership consulted big economists on the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) scheme, wherein the main Opposition party has assured to provide Rs 72,000 to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families every year if the Congress is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
Contrary to the critics, Rajan said it is ‘well worth’ to think about such a scheme. “We need to make it more than just a handout. It has to be a way of creating a platform for them to become regular contributors of the workforce,” he said. “My sense of what the Congress is saying is that this will all be laid out. We will figure out how to do it. They have proposed a committee, pilot projects and phased rollout. Such a scheme can help inculcate the necessary capabilities in the people and over the medium-term, and can also help boost growth.,” Rajan informed reporters.
Speaking to reporters, during launch his new book, ‘The Third Pillar’, Rajan said that both the BJP, through its cash transfers to small farmers, and the Congress, through its Nyay scheme promise, have shown that cash transfers are the way forward to alleviate poverty.
“The available budgetary space and elimination of distortionary subsidies are the two things a government has to keep in mind as it goes ahead with any such cash-dole-out policies,” he added.
On being asked if he will be coming back as the next finance minister, Rajan, kept everyone guessing, by terming the question ‘hypothetical’. “I am very happy where I am…I am an academic and happy to offer my advice,” said Rajan.