Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan on Wednesday confirmed that he had advised the Congress leadership on the minimum income guarantee scheme or NYAY scheme, PTI reported.

Rajan said the Nyoontama Aay Yojana or NYAY scheme is well worth an idea and that it should be made more than just a handout. “It has to be a way of creating a platform for them to become regular contributors of the workforce,” The New Indian Express quoted him as saying. Rajan said the scheme, which promises Rs 72,000 per annum to the poorest 20% families of the country, is doable.

Rajan said the Bharatiya Janata Party, through its cash transfers to small farmers, and the Congress, through its NYAY scheme promise, have shown that cash transfers are the way forward to alleviate poverty. He was speaking at the launch of his book The Third Pillar in Mumbai.

When asked if the Congress leadership had consulted him on the scheme, Rajan said: “Yes, I have offered my views on this scheme.” He said he had spoken to Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on the scheme, according to PTI.

“My sense of what the Congress is saying is that this will all be laid out,” Rajan said. “We will figure out how to do it. They have proposed a committee, pilot projects and phased rollout.”

Gandhi on Tuesday said that Rajan was among the top economists that his party had consulted to draft the scheme.

‘Willing to return to India if there’s an opportunity to be of use’

At his book release in New Delhi on Tuesday, Rajan said he was willing to return to India if there was opportunity to be of use, News18 reported. Rajan is currently the Katherine Dusak Miller Distinguished Service Professor of Finance at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business in the United States.

When asked if he would like to return to India in a public service or political role, Rajan said: “I am very happy where I am. But if there is an opportunity to be of use I will always be there.”

During an interview on Tuesday, Rajan said it was “premature” to discuss if he was approached by any party to take up a policy-making position if they were to win, according to PTI.

When asked what his priorities would be if he was the finance minister of the country, Rajan said land acquisition, bank cleanup and policies to revive the agriculture sector would be his primary concerns.