New Delhi , Mar 26:
In a big-bang poll promise, Congress President Rahul Gandhi announced that Rs 72,000 per year will be given as minimum income to poor families, benefiting around 25 crore people, if his party is voted to power in Lok Sabha polls, and asserted it will be the final assault on poverty.
Addressing a press conference here, Gandhi said 20 per cent or five crore families belonging to the poorest category with monthly income less than Rs 12,000 would come under the scheme.
“This is a ground breaking idea. It is a historic day for India and the final assault on poverty is beginning. We will wipe out poverty from the country,” he said, adding that the scheme was finalised after thorough consultations with renowned economists and experts.
However, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley described the poll promise as a “bluff announcement”, saying no other political party has betrayed India for more than seven decades in the name of poverty. He said the Congress has given to the people many slogans but very little resources to implement its election promises.
The scheme comes as a sequel to the minimum income guarantee scheme announced by Gandhi a few days ago, while campaigning at a poll rally. The scheme is a major poll promise made by the Congress in a bid to woo poor voters with an aim to improve the party’s prospects in Lok Sabha polls.