Universal Basic Income Net

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Sikkim is set to become the first state in India to roll out Universal Basic Income (UBI),

What is the Universal Basic Income (UBI)?

a) It is a scheme seeks to provide a basic income to all citizens of a particular state or geographical area for poverty alleviation.

b) The idea behind a basic income is that all are entitled to a reasonable income, notwithstanding their contribution to the economy.

c) Universal Basic Income is defined as a periodic cash payment unconditionally delivered to all on an individual basis, without means test or work requirement.

d) UBI would require subsumption of other subsidies and allowances in order to free up resources so that a particular amount can be directed to people on a periodic basis.

Who has advocated for UBI?

a) Basic Income Earth Network is a network of academicians advocating for UBI to all.

b) It characterizes the basic income in five divisions,

i) Periodic- Being paid at regular intervals, not lump sum

ii) Cash payment- Not in kind or vouchers, leaving it on the recipient to spend it as they like,

iii) Individual- Not to households or families,

iv) Universal- for all

v) Unconditional- Irrespective of income or prospects of job.

c) Economic Survey 2017 flagged the UBI scheme as a conceptually appealing idea and a possible alternative to social welfare programmes targeted at reducing poverty.

d) Many left-leaning politicians, activists advocates the idea of the UBI.

Which are the advantages of UBI?

a) It can provide safety net to the citizens against uncertainties on account of globalization, technological change, and automation.

b) It seeks to assure a dignified life for everyone as poverty, vulnerability can be reduced.

c) UBI trusts the citizens and gives them the choice to spend money.

d) Exclusion error in the scheme is zero as it will provide benefits to all.

e) It will replace insufficient policy alleviation policies or programmes. So, it can reduce administrative burden and increase efficiency.

f) It can even promote greater productivity as income assurance boosts confidence.

Why there is opposition?

a) Guaranteed income may make people lazy and labor market may shrink.

b) Households can spend the money irresponsibly.

c) Gender equations may dictate spending. Men are likely to exercise control.

d) Purchasing power of cash may be impacted by market fluctuations.

e) It can result into huge public expenditure as population of India is enormous.

Source- Indian Express