Ever since the Congress announced their proposed minimum basic income scheme NYAY, there have been speculations that it will mean increased taxes and a strain on India’s economy. Former NITI Ayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya has even stated that the scheme is fiscally imprudent and will cost more than India’s defence budget.
Abhijit Banerjee, the economist who has been advising Congress in the formulation of the scheme had also stated that NYAY will have to be funded by rising inflation and new taxes.
The NYAY scheme promises a Rs 72,000 per anum basic income for 20% of India’s population.
Now, a video has surfaced on social media where Sam Pitroda, veteran Congress ideologue and Rahul Gandhi’s advisor, has stated in an interview with India Ahead News yesterday that the NYAY scheme will have to be funded by raising taxes for the middle class.
Rahul Gandhi advisor Sam Pitroda in an interview
1 Taxes will go up for middle class to fund schemes
2 middle class should not be selfish and should become a large hearted to pay more taxes. pic.twitter.com/k2UWAGrOSJ
— Chowkidar Chintan Shah (@chintan20) April 3, 2019
In the video clip, the interviewer is seen asking Pitroda that the middle class is worried about the NYAY scheme as it might mean more taxes. To which Pitroda replies that the under a Congress government at the center, the middle class will have more opportunities and more jobs. He claimed that now there are no jobs.
Pitroda said that taxes will go up a little bit ‘it is nothing to worry about’. He added, “It is not a major issue”.
Going further, Pitroda added that the middle class should not be selfish, they should have a ‘big heart’. Putting the onus of guilt on the middle class for worrying about taxes, Pitroda said, “How can you see poor people around you and worry that somebody might take a 10 paisa from you. That is not India.”
When the interviewer asked if this is his message for the middle class, Pitroda said, “Yes, if you and I have to tighten our belt a little, there is nothing wrong with it. They are our cousins, they are our brothers, sisters, and nephews.”
Social media has been reacting strongly to Sam Pitroda’s statements.
Dear Middle class
This guy @sampitroda is giving sermon before winning that; we should be ready to pay higher taxes to fund their scheme to win elections.@RahulGandhi wants to be Robinhood & loot you ostensibly to pay the poor.
Do you think he will pay after looting you? pic.twitter.com/YSA61QXq8l
— Dr Jagadish J Hiremut (@Kaalateetham) April 4, 2019
Middle class wale NDA ki sarkar ko NOTA ka patthar baandh ke doobone ko taiyyar the… Now Congress tells them “don’t be selfish, have a big heart and give more taxes for your poor brethren”. Samajh nahi araha hansa jaye ki roya jaye 😬😬😬
— Joga-Maya 😎 (@jogakhichudi) April 4, 2019
It is notable here that Abhijit Banerjee, the economist advising Congress, had also stated that Inflation is good for the economy. Congress has not been very clear on how the estimated 3.6 lakh crores will be made available to fund the NYAY scheme. But the statements by their advisers make it clear that they intend to fund it by burdening the taxpaying masses with more taxes and raised inflation.