Poll Promise: Congress Promises Minimum Income Guarantee to Poor

Congress Promises Minimum Income Guarantee to Poor. Photo: Congress
Congress Promises Minimum Income Guarantee to Poor. Photo: Congress

Schemes like Minimum Income Guarantee cannot succeed in a poor, underdeveloped country like India where the tax systems are extremely strained.

By Rakesh Raman

As the Lok Sabha election is approaching, political parties in India are making wild promises to woo the gullible voters. Congress, for example, said today that if it won the 2019 Lok Sabha election, it will implement a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poor.

According to Congress, 20% or 5 crore (50 million) poorest families, that is, approximately 25 crore (250 million) people in India will benefit from the minimum income guarantee scheme. These families will get up to Rs. 72,000 in a year.

“Scheme will be implemented in phases. The fiscal repercussions have been analyzed. If PM Narendra Modi can give Rs. 350,000 crore to India’s richest people, then we can do the same for India’s poorest families,” said Congress president Rahul Gandhi .

अगर किसी की आमदनी 12000 रुपये से कम है तो हम उस व्यक्ति की आमदनी को 12000 रुपये तक पहुंचा देंगे। हम लोगों को गरीबी से निकालना चाहते हैं ।” he added. “This scheme will be the final assault on poverty.”

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“We cannot build a new India while millions of our brothers and sisters suffer the scourge of poverty. If voted to power in 2019, the Congress is committed to a minimum income guarantee for every poor person, to help eradicate poverty and hunger,” Congress president had said earlier. “This is our vision and our promise.”

Minimum Income Guarantee or Guaranteed Minimum Income is part of a social welfare system to ensure that all citizens or families have an income sufficient for their subsistence. Governments use tax money to pay minimum income to citizens who reside at the bottom of the income pyramid.

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This is a totally flawed system of governance because governments impose heavy taxes on the hardworking, rich citizens to pay their money to the idle, illiterate, lethargic people.

Instead of empowering people with good education and skills, and encouraging them to earn their livelihood with dignity, governments use dole such as Minimum Income Guarantee to make a dependent society so that poor people could keep voting for them.

This article is part of our exclusive editorial section that focuses on Lok Sabha election 2019. Click here to visit the editorial section.

Unfortunately, no political party is promising to improve the quality of education and the Human Development Index (HDI) of India that totters at a poor rank of 130 in the world. Published by the United Nations Development Programme, HDI indicates the level of skills in a country and lets you know if people in that country are able to achieve their goals. The education systems are so bad in India that even degree holders are not able to get low-level jobs.

Moreover, schemes like Guaranteed Minimum Income cannot succeed in a poor, underdeveloped country like India where the tax systems are extremely strained. India’s fiscal deficit was Rs 7.17 lakh crore ($101.93 billion) at the end of November 2018. This amounts to a whopping 114.8% of the budgeted target for the current fiscal year. A fiscal or budget deficit is experienced when a government spends more than it collects in taxes.

Then from where will the Congress party bring money to pay under the planned Minimum Income Guarantee scheme? Rahul Gandhi has not revealed. These are reckless promises that are made by politicians to hoodwink the voters – most of whom are uneducated and ignorant.

By Rakesh Raman, who is a national award-winning journalist and social activist. He is the founder of a humanitarian organization RMN Foundation which is working in diverse areas to help the disadvantaged and distressed people in the society. He also creates and publishes a number of digital publications on different subjects.

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