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Making Sense of NYAY

  • Category
    Polity & Governance
  • Published
    11th Apr, 2019

Last week, the Congress party announced its version of a quasi-universal basic income (UBI) scheme by promising an income guarantee of ?6,000 per monthto 50 million “poor" families if voted to power.

Issue

Context

  • Last week, the Congress party announced its version of a quasi-universal basic income (UBI) scheme by promising an income guarantee of ?6,000 per monthto 50 million “poor" families if voted to power.
  • The proposed scheme has been referred to as NyuntamAay Yojana, or NYAY.

About:

An income guarantee scheme is an important policy intervention for securing the objective of reducing both poverty and economic inequality.Money proposed to be given to the poor under 'NYAY' scheme would be deposited in the accounts of women.

NyuntamAay Yojana, or NYAY:

  • The scheme aims to guarantee a transfer of Rs 6,000 to every family that earns less than Rs 12,000 per month if the household is a member of the poorest 20% of all households in the population.
  • The estimated number of households in 2018 is 25 crore.
  • 20% of this number is five crore families. Five crore families multiplied by Rs 72,000 per family per year works out to an annual bill of Rs 3.6 lakh crore.

However, several questions around the scheme remain -

  • What is the nature of the proposed scheme?
  • What is its expected size?
  • How will it be financed?
  • How will it be delivered to its intended beneficiaries?

Background:

Oxfam India report:

  • 73 percent of the wealth generated last year went to the richest one percent, while 67 crore Indians who comprise the poorest half of the population saw one percent increase in their wealth.
  • India's top 10% of population holds 73% of the wealth.
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