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NYAY Not a Burden, Will Cost Rs 3.5 Lakh Crore a Year at its Peak, Says Economist Praveen Chakravarty

While the country couldn’t have managed to achieve a scheme of this nature a decade ago, Praveen Chakravarty said that the Indian economy now, has the capacity to absorb an ambitious scheme like NYAY.

Aishwarya Kumar | News18.com@aishwaryak03

Updated:March 29, 2019, 2:35 PM IST
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NYAY Not a Burden, Will Cost Rs 3.5 Lakh Crore a Year at its Peak, Says Economist Praveen Chakravarty
File photo of Praveen Chakravarty.

New Delhi: Veteran economist and Congress’ go-to man for data driven strategies Praveen Chakravarty said on Thursday that the expenditure for the party’s recently proposed Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) scheme, at its peak, will not be more than Rs 3.5 lakh crore per year.

“At its peak, it can cost 3.5 lakh crore which is not more than 1.4 or 1.5% of India’s GDP. And that is not a big amount at all,” he told News18, adding that in the first year of its implementation, the scheme’s expenditure will not reach its upper limit.

While the country couldn’t have managed to achieve a scheme of this nature a decade ago, the Indian economy now, Chakravarty said, has the capacity to absorb an ambitious scheme like NYAY.

The Congress Data Analytics chief added that the identification of the beneficiaries will not be a big issue. “With advances in data sciences, it is possible in today’s time to identify the poorest 20% easily. We don’t need to know the income of every household for that,” he said, further citing an Economic Survey report by Arvind Subramanian from 2017 that corroborates his claims.

Chakravarty asserted that every beneficiary of NYAY will get the same amount. “Five crore poorest families in India will get Rs 6,000 a month. We know that the average income of the poorest 20% of families in India today is Rs 6,000. We give them Rs 6,000 more through NYAY, which then makes the average monthly income of the poorest 20%, Rs 12,000. That is how the logic works,” he said.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Thursday said the NYAY scheme will remonetise what Prime Minister Narendra Modi demonetised and asserted that his party's anti-poverty programme has thrown the BJP into total disarray. He further claimed that the party consulted a large number of economists and experts, studied numerous papers and other research material on this subject and ran an extensive financial modelling exercise, before deciding to include the plan in its Lok Sabha manifesto.

When asked whether the scheme was prima facie populist, Gandhi said "it is not a populist measure as projected by some critics. If giving out Rs 3.5 lakh crore to 15 people by Narendra Modi is not considered populist, why should this be considered as one when it is aimed at benefitting the poor?"

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| Edited by: Zoya Mateen
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