Congress party pledges universal basic income for the poor

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A rough calculation will reveal that 20% of the poorest Indians translate to 5 crore families and with an average of 5 members in each family, this translates to 25 crore Indians, who are living below the poverty line.

Jaitley also took a jibe at former prime minister Indira Gandhi and her son former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi saying that the party and the Gandhi family, "since "Garibi Hatao" slogan was given, has ruled India for more than two-thirds of that period".

Echoing Khan's view, Mohammad Waseem, a vegetable seller who earns between 200 to 300 rupees daily, said that "I will welcome any government who implements such a scheme".

Calling the loan waiver of the Congress as a bluff, Jaitley said, "The Congress in Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Karnataka promised a loan waiver. So what is being claimed by the Congress party - a bluff announcement", said FM Jaitley. "Ironically, they now want to use the same mechanism". The minimum starting salary in government after the 7th Pay Commission is Rs 18,000 a month. The landless and poor, amongst the villagers, get a MNREGA payment. The party finally arrived at the figure of Rs 12,000 as the minimum income.

Asked whether AAP was consulted, Chacko said, "We have had no word with the AAP as we had to take a preliminary decision on our party's political stand whether we wanted an alliance or not". Minimum wages for the labour have been raised by 42%.

"Final assault on poverty has begun. She did not believe in increased productivity, she did not believe in generation of wealth, she only believed in redistribution of poverty", said Finance Minister Arun Jaitley. We will bring 25 crore people out of poverty.

Chacko's remarks came after Delhi Congress chief Sheila Dikshit had written a letter to Rahul last week, stating a coalition with AAP will "harm" Congress in the long run.

Economist and business expert, Aakash Jindal said: "It's a good concept but Congress should first answer some important questions like 'what would be the total cost of the scheme?"

"This showing of false dream to the people of India, is not going to cut any ice because the Congress record of 55 years has always been anti-poor", Prasad added. "She supplemented her 1971 slogan while promising in election after election, the welfare of the largest number", added the BJP leader. "The same unfortunate fate awaits the populist and opportunistic promise of #MinimumIncomeGuarantee".

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