Congress’ poll promise of minimum guaranteed income scheme will be rolled out in phases and the promised money of Rs 6,000 every month will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of women heads of families, former Union Minister P Chidambaram said here on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference at the Tamil Nadu Congress Committee headquarters here, Chidambaram said the scheme was announced after consulting economists and experts who said it was implementable.
“India today has the capacity to implement the scheme because of the size of the economy. We could not have implemented the scheme 20 years and certainly not 40 years ago,” the former Finance Minister said.
The press conference was arranged to explain the modalities of the minimum income guarantee scheme which is being touted by the Congress as a “game-changer” this election.
He said the scheme will be implemented in phases and an expert committee will oversee the implementation. “The scheme will be rolled out in phases and we will cover the five crore families in phases," Chidambaram said, adding that the scheme will have to be tested in the field before being rolled out.
The scheme is expected to cost around Rs 3.6 lakh crore, Chidambaram said, adding that the Indian economy has grown in size due to liberalisation policy brought by the Congress Government headed by P V Narasimha Rao in 1991.
On Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s criticism that the scheme cannot be implemented, Chidambaram asked: “I want to ask the Finance Minister whether he supports or opposes the scheme.”