Rahul’s MIG sim­i­lar to garibi hatao: Ra­jiv Ku­mar

The Free Press Journal - - NATION -

In­dia nei­ther had the kind of fis­cal space, nor the kind of com­plete data needed to im­ple­ment the scheme

— RA­JIV KU­MAR NITI Aayog Vice Chair­man

Terming Con­gress Pres­i­dent Rahul Gand­his prom­ise of a min­i­mum in­come guar­an­tee to poor unim­ple­mentable, NITI Aayog Vice Chair­man Ra­jiv Ku­mar says it is sim­i­lar in na­ture to for­mer Prime Min­is­ter Indira Gand­his 'garibi hatao slo­gan.

He says In­dia nei­ther had the kind of fis­cal space, nor the kind of com­plete data needed to im­ple­ment the scheme.

Ku­mar also op­posed the idea of Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic In­come, of­ten ad­vo­cated by for­mer Chief Eco­nomic Ad­viser Arvind Subra­ma­nian, say­ing he favoured in­cen­tives for pop­u­la­tion to work.

The NITI Aayog Vice Chair­man said the Con­gress needed to ex­plain to the coun­try how it can af­ford a scheme like min­i­mum in­come guar­an­tee.

"I don't think it is prac­ti­cal. I think it is more rhetor­i­cal. It is sim­i­lar in na­ture to 'garibi hatao'. And I don't think its im­ple­men­ta­tion will be fea­si­ble. We nei­ther have that kind of fis­cal space, nor that kind of com­plete data that you need were you to be able to im­ple­ment it," Ku­mar told IANS in an in­ter­view.

"This is why, I think, the Con­gress has left all de­tails com­pletely un­clear and have only made a broad an­nounce­ment," he added.

For­mer Fi­nance Min­is­ter P. Chi­dambaram has, how­ever, said that the broad con­tours of the scheme jus­ti­fy­ing its im­ple­mentabil­ity would be ex­plained in the Con­gress man­i­festo.

Re­ject­ing the idea of Uni­ver­sal Ba­sic In­come for In­di­ans, Ku­mar said: "I have not been a sup­porter of the scheme. For In­dia's per capita in­come and its de­mo­graphic pro­file, I would much rather have in­cen­tives for work rather than in­cen­tives for be­ing in on so­cial se­cu­rity."

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