Minimum income guarantee is the election promise from India’s lead opposition

India’s main opposition party The Indian National Congress has raised the stakes for the incumbent Narendra Modi government. On Monday, Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised a minimum income guarantee for every poor person if the party won the 2019 elections..

Congress president Rahul Gandhi tweeted the measure is aimed at eradicating “poverty and hunger.”

However, details of how much the minimum income will be or the specific workings of the scheme are unclear.

Who will pay for it?
The radical measure will require huge financial as well as infrastructure support. While the burden will be on the taxpayer, previous recommendations for a guaranteed income included possible tweaks to, or unwinding of, several existing government subsidies.

On surface, the idea resembles the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI), which guarantees a predetermined amount of money the government pays all its citizens. Indian state of Sikkim is currently running a pilot on UBI, the first Indian state to do so. As a concept, UBI, is yet to be tested around the world on a large scale.