This is and editorial Article published in Hindu written by C. Rang Rajan , here are its summary and our team views on further its implementation
What is UBI – Universal Basic Income
UBI is new term which is used to provided a minimum basic income to all the people irrespective of financial status i.e. There should be some fixed amount of basic income to be provided to all the people, so does India need UBI or not that is the main gist, since many countries have either rejected also this proposal since people wont work if they are getting sustainable income.
Basic Service VS Cash to Poor People
There is a question whether providing cash to people would be utilized in correct way or instead government should focus on providing basic neccessity like Health, Education, Food Security. There is greater loop whole in current form of subsidy as it doesnt differentiate between poor and rich and most probably rich gets more cut from the total subsidy. So let government provide the basic neccessity and on top of it let it focus on minimum income.
Supplemental Income – Extension of UBI
India has huge population i.e. 1.25 billion and if government decide to provide the ubi then it is not feasible, so there is another term – Supplemental Income i.e. additional income for the people which are living below poverty line. To understand in better way it is like – Amount need to reach the BPL income threshold. So in India we can provide Supplemental Income to the its people living below poverty line.
Minimum Amount to be Decided as Basic Supplemental Income
If every people is provided with some fixed amount then it would be huge burden on finance 4 to 5lac crore which crosses 3 % of GDP, so it can fix some some miimum amount like MGNREGA amount i..e amount equivalent to 100 days of employment 20,000 per month as the basic income.
Criteria to Selecting People to Benefit from Basic Income
We can not provide minimum income to all the members of family neither to all the people so there should be filter to minimize the number of people , one of the example may be Women aged above 45 from every household, Aadhar has age that can be used further. This will reduce the total amount to 1-2 lac crore which is 2 -2.5 % of total GDP.
How to Get Finance for the Basic Income
There is approax 2 lac crore amount need for financing the project, it is very huge burden on government, there are following ways to get it arranged –
- Reduce whole exemption from the Income Tax
- Reduce subsidy like fertilizers etc
- Tax super rich more to accormodate.
- Phase out the MGNERA which would now be covered in the current scheme.
Is India Really Ready for UBI ?
This is not realistic plan for the India people, this is unrealistic people really wont be productive when they are having free basic income, identification of the real beneficiary is another tough task and finance needed for implementation of this scheme is really beyond our capacity.
Way Ahead : Conclusion
UBI or supplemental income is really a good plan however we need realistic approach for benefiting the needy, like in terms of basic education, health etc so that we do not need to put our effort to provide basic income rather make them self reliant to achieve the financial independence.