To clear the doubts regarding the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) or Minimum Income Support Programme (MISP) scheme, Congress released a FAQ document regarding the ambitious scheme which is one of the key highlights of its manifesto. The scheme promises Rs 72,000 per annually (Rs. 6,000/month) to the poorest 20 %families (5 crore families) in India living Below the Poverty Line.
Firstly, the party clarified that the scheme will not be a top-up scheme but a flat cash transfer, implying that Rs 6,000 per month will be transferred per eligible family irrespective of their current annual or monthly income. This statement was to counter the rumors that the party would transfer just enough money to bring up each BPL family's income to Rs 12,000 a month which leads to the criticism that red-tapism, corruption, and difficulties in verifying declared income of a family will make the scheme useless.
Congress president Rahul Gandhi claimed that the implementation of the NYAY scheme will do justice to India's poorest by ensuring eradication of poverty.
The document’s header speaks about the source of funding for the scheme, which has led many critics to flay the scheme; Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a bluff announcement and experts, too questioned if the scheme is economically possible to implement.
The document doesn’t directly answer the questions on the fiscal judgment of the scheme as it merely indicates that the scheme will hand out the trickle-down benefits of GDP growth to the poorest sections of the Indian society, who were till now left behind in country's economic growth.
Congress has affirmed that the estimated cost of NYAY scheme will be less than 1 percent of GDP in Year I and less than 2 percent (at current prices) of GDP in Year II. It adds that once the scheme will be fully implemented, the cost will be approximately Rs 3.6 lakh crore.
The FAQ sheet doesn’t speak on the rising fiscal deficit and how the party plans to bridge that gap while also managing to fund the ambitious scheme.
Congress' primary rival BJP and several experts have claimed that the government will cut down or streamline expenditure somewhere else, which will likely mean eliminating few other welfare schemes. A few days ago, Ex-RBI governor, Raghuram Rajan claimed that the scheme as ‘doable.
Regarding identifying the beneficiaries and ruling out fiscal difficulties, the party claimed that it had relied upon extensive financial modeling exercise before deciding to include the plan in its Lok Sabha election manifesto.
Despite the fact that BJP has been criticizing the scheme since its introduction, many sources have claimed that scheme seems more realistic to implement as compared to various past and current promises of BJP (example: 15 lakhs in bank accounts, black money extortion, etc.)