Thomas Piketty, the brain behind the Congress’s NYAY said that the lack of clarity on financing the scheme is its biggest drawback. “With proposals of this type, it is important not to stop there and not to take basic income as a miracle solution or a final settlement. Setting up a fair distribution of wealth and a model for sustainable and equitable development, requires the backing of a total package of social, educational and fiscal measures, basic income only being one element therein,” wrote Piketty in his blog. He also said that the major issue in this election is the creation of a left wing alliance which could take on Modi. He said that Rahul Gandhi is far from popular and therefore will not be able to take on PM Modi.
The World Inequality Lab, an institution based on the Paris School of Economics is providing the intellectual support for the implementation of the scheme to Congress party. Thomas Piketty who has been popularly called the ‘Karl Marx of twenty-first century’ is among the directors of the World Inequality Lab. Piketty is known for recommending ‘revolutionary’ measures to reduce inequality. He recommended that the state rob the middle class to finance the welfare scheme for poor people. He recommends a top income tax rate of 80% and a next-to-top income tax rate of 50 to 60% to increase the tax to GDP ratio. The Lab has proposed four measures through which the scheme could be financed.
The party is still not sure about how it will fund the scheme. The party thought it to be one of its masterstrokes to win the 2019 elections. The Congress leaders are but failing to provide the source of financing that is needed to fund the scheme. To add to the confusion, there are many versions of the resource funding by three prominent leaders of the INC.
The former Home and Finance Minister P Chidambaram who played an important part role in the manifesto committee, has given one source, Sam Pitroda and Rahul Gandhi himself has something else to say. Chidambaram said that the source of money will be the increased government budget. According to him with the increase in rate of revenue generation it will help in achieving the objective of funding the NYAY scheme. The stats he used to support his proposal is the 18% increase in the revenue generated in the country.
The other narrative regarding the NYAY scheme is peddled by Sam Pitroda. He is the Chairman of the INC Overseas and also a close confidant of the INC president Rahul Gandhi. Sam Pitroda, when asked about where the scheme would get the money from, had another solution. The way suggested by Pitroda is nowhere in alignment of what P Chidambaram had to say about the scheme. Sam Pitroda said that increasing the tax will be a good method to raise money. However, what Sam Pitroda fails to understand is that increasing taxes will have a grave effect on the middle class. He has asked the middle class to not be “selfish” and how could they see poverty around them? However, Sam Pitroda’s comments on taxing the middle-class to fund the NYAY scheme promptly met with backlash.
It is clear, how bogus the NYAY scheme is proposed by the Congress. The three heavyweight leaders are confused themselves to provide any clear views on the source of finance. It is not surprising that a leader, who was confused till the end of filing nominations, is not clear about his scheme and the funding of the same. The Congress has failed miserably to play the card that it thought could fetch it a jackpot. In essence, this Nyuntam Aay Yojna (NYAY) is a bluff the Congress now uses to fool the people of the country.
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