Universal Basic Income
By Shiralee Kinariwala
Universal basic income is one of the most debatable policy schemes which is going around in the world today. India is home to one - third of the world’s extremely poor people and this scheme is very beneficial for the country. This theme mainly seeks to address poverty as well inequality which is faced by each and everyone in our country on daily basis. This scheme has been in news for past decade but in recent times it has been given much more important as our government is towards the edge of improving the economy of our country and that is possible only by removing poverty from our country and this scheme mainly keeps society as the first priority and then the removal of unequal distribution of income among people of our country.
There are certain workplaces also in our country where people are not paid according to the work done but they are paid less because of the discrimination on the basis of caste, creed, color, sex etc. So that is why rich are becoming richer and the poor are becoming poorer day by day. So to improve the economy of our country this universal basic income scheme has been formulated so that the people who are not able to earn their livelihood can start their business or can start their source of income as well as they can also have their two times meals.
Thomas Paine has proposed an idea of “payments made every person rich and poor” in 1797.
There was also an economic survey of India which took place in our country in 2017 in which there were 40 pages of chapters which mainly deals with three things i.e., universality, unconditionality, and agency and was also the huge news in 2016 and was brought in the notice by former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramaniyam. In this, he also mentioned that this scheme can be funded jointly by the center as well as the state and there will be no need to go to reserve bank of India for the fund. There were the main terms which were mentioned in those chapters which talk about the improvement of the economic condition of our country and also to reduce the problem of poverty in India. UBI promotes the basic values of society with respect to an individual as free and equal.
The universal basic income scheme has been presented with the two-handed economist consisting of both the pros and cons of the scheme listed and is also open to the debate. There are many views with regards to people as some say that it is good for the economy and some say it is against the economy but if this scheme is to be implemented then it can be affected only after the studying the effects and also the working of such a venture. As the Indian economy is a developing economy so for a thing to be implemented certain experiments and tests are to be done for the implementation of such type of scheme. This scheme will also help small farmers to tackle financial distress and can also remove income disparity.
The universal basic income scheme seeks to address the problem who are suffering from poverty, inequality among the people and also for the people who has been affected by any natural calamities. It is a concept which talks about society, community and deprived people in our society. It is not for the general obligation to avoid the revolt of masses. Finland is one of the handful of the country experiencing universal basic income as a way to address unemployment in their country.
UNIVERSALITY+UNCONDITINALITY+AGENCY= UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME
In India, it is very difficult to implement this scheme but is not impossible as India doesn't have the fiscal capacity to implement this scheme and it will also create contortion in labor market and the last is that the Indian politics will also create intricacy in an implementation of this scheme. In recent times Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has also announced on January 28 that his party will bring this scheme into action if his party win in this recent Lok Sabha election held in April-may 2019, but there is no such official confirmation to it. Several experiments and projects have been made such as the pilot project for the implementation of this scheme but none of it worked in past but in India, this scheme will mainly be imposed on the economically backward class people not for all the citizens of our country.
India already has this type of scheme for people for the elderly people, disabled and also the widows, but this has been practiced by giving a very small amount of pension to them. But if India wants to adopt a universal basic income scheme then it is possible to adopt by granting a pension of a larger amount and also on a larger scale.
However, there will be many hurdles in implanting this scheme named universal basic income to people. This scheme will not fully replace existing welfare scheme like MNREGA. Nearly one-third of Indians do not have their bank accounts so it will become for the government to reach such a rural places where people are not aware of such a facility or scheme. This scheme will cost very high for the government so this scheme is only going to be implemented for the small farmers. Implementation of this scheme is a very debatable topic in Lok Sabha as well as the Rajya Sabha. And the government is also trying to eradicate poverty from our country and with the help of this scheme we are not going to eradicate this scheme but will be able to decrease the poverty of our country.