--classstrugggle-flipmag CS May-2019 MKP

Vol. 11, Issue : 4,5 April, May 2019 NYAY: Another Pipe Dream Scheme As a run up to the Lok Sabha elections, Modi’s government announced in the last budget an input support of Rs. 6000 per year to the farmers having a land up to 5 acres. The government of Telangana statea implemented such a scheme before the assembly elections, while the government of AP and some other states announced additional amount over that of centre’s scheme. As a part of the election campaign, the Congress party vowed to implement Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) if voted to power. Its leader Rahul Gandhi asserted that NYAY would be the final assault on poverty in the country. Under the scheme, Rs. 72,000 will be transferred annually into the bank accounts of a fifth of the poorest families in the country (abour 5 crore families). The basis of these two schemes is the concept of Universal Basic Income that should be given directly to the beneficiary. Many reputed economists in India are praising the NYAY as a welfare agenda that guarantees a minimum income to the poor. They are arguing that it should be treated as a social security and as a constitutional right rather than as a dole or election promise. An intense discussion is going on about affordability and implementability of NYAY. Rahul Gandhi said that his party had consulted big economists including Raghuram Rajan who concurred that it is doable scheme. But many think that NYAY is financially unviable as it requires Rs. 3.6 lakh crore annually. Prof. Jayati Ghosh said the scheme can trigger social tension and was difficult to implement. One reputed economist argued that the NYAY can be implemented provided various subsidies were done away. The food subsidy, fertilizer subsidy, petroleum subsidy, expenditure on MNREGA, SC and ST welfare and Awas Yojana etc. comes to a total of Rs five lakh crores. So by stopping these welfare schemes, NYAY can be implemented successfully. Yet nobody brought into the discussion Rs 6 lakh crore subsidies being handed out to the big bourgeoisie every year. This debate is an indicator of what is going to happen tomorrow. In a country where income disparity is growing at alarming rate for the last seven decades and the poverty and misery of the vast masses of people reached to unbearable proportion. The need for a poverty alleviation or eradication programme is unquestionable. The pertinent question is how to do it. The past experience indicates that every poverty eradication programme taken up by the governments at various times had failed in achieving the objective. During the British colonial rule, providing wage employment during times of distress such as drought and floods was used as a relief, It was continued in the early decades after the transfer of power. A debate took place in late 1960s which stressed on the creation of assets to provide a constant and recurring income as a poverty eradication programme in the place of wage employment. This was followed by the slogan Garibi Hatao and Indira Gandhi’s 20-point programme. Under this programme, the beneficiaries were provided with goats, buffalos, cows etc, so as the beneficiaries would earn income by rearing these animals. After a decade the then Planning Commission Organ of the Central Committee of CPI(ML)