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NYAY Will Help Restart Our Economic Engine That Has Come To A Stop Today: Manmohan Singh (Read Full Text)

By providing direct income support, NYAY will empower our poor with economic freedom and choice."

On the 25th of March 2019, the President of the Congress party, Shri. Rahul Gandhi unveiled NYAYNyuntam Aay Yojana, a powerful idea with dual objectives – to wipe out the last remnants of poverty and to restart stalled economic activity in our nation. Under NYAY, the poorest 20% of Indian families will be given an annual income support of a uniform amount of Rs.72000 for each family. I am glad to note that the NYAY idea has been received with tremendous enthusiasm by people and discussed widely across the nation.

Nearly 70% of Indians were poor when India attained Independence from the British in 1947. With sound policies adopted by successive governments over the last seven decades, poverty levels have been brought down from 70%to 20% now. It is time now to renew our pledge to wipe out the last remains of poverty.

NYAY will ensure a basic level of dignity and respect for every Indian family. By providing direct income support, NYAY will empower our poor with economic freedom and choice. With NYAY, India will usher in an era of a minimum income guarantee and help create a new social contract for a new welfare state.

NYAY will also help restart our economic engine that has come to a stop today. Money in the hands of the needy will stimulate demand in the economy which can then lead to increased economic activity and job creation, referred to as the Keynesian effect by economists. At a time when private investment and industrial production are low, NYAY can help bring our economy back to life and create new factories and jobs.

The Congress party is also committed to fiscal discipline. NYAY scheme will cost between 1.2% – 1.5% of GDP at its peak. Our nearly $3 trillion economy has the fiscal capacity to absorb this expenditure. There will be no need for any new taxes on the middle class to finance NYAY. The economic stimulus that NYAY will provide will further help in fiscal discipline. NYAY has been conceptualised after much thought and consultations with experts.

Just as we brought in a new paradigm for India’s development with the de-licensing regime in 1991, a rights based approach to governance including the Right to Work under MGNREGA, I am confident a Congress party led government in 2019 will implement NYAY successfully and usher in a new model for social justice and prudent economics. It is my sincere belief that NYAY has the potential to catapult India into the club of ‘poverty free’ nations in the world and I hope to be able to live to see our nation achieve this historic milestone.

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