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UBI, speculated to hit under Budget – 2019

UBI, speculated to hit under Budget – 2019

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While Rahul Gandhi has promised to implement Universal Basic Income scheme, government can be ushered to add UBI mechanism in the interim budget held on 1st February. For poor, it is possible that Prime Minister, Narendra Modi may drive the UBI pilot project through mechanism of the Budget. An estimated support of Rs 6,540 crore-Rs 7,620 crore is on the anvil if the government goes ahead with UBI. 

According to the Economic survey of 2016-17 it is observed the food subsidy by government falls around 1,70,000 crores, is it possible to run UBI scheme and also have the food subsidy on the parallel? According to the Pre – Budget Economic Survey of 2016-17, it is found that India’s largest welfare schemes were poorly targeted, and the most exhaustive treatment as far as implementing UBI is concerned.

Rahul Gandhi while addressing the farmer’s rally about UBI said,

“India will be the first country to inculcate this in its governance.”

As a matter of fact the primary Programme has already been tested in some capacity in other countries as well!

UBI is not some sort of cash reward to be handed on to citizens by government based on their economic status, it needs a better articulation policy along with a feasible financial and implication in terms of distribution as well. It is equally true that UBI distributed directly into bank accounts will limit pilferage, be easier to administer, and prove a more effective anti-poverty intervention. 

The idea to relatively eradicate poverty is virtuous step unless it wisely gauged under debates and other accountable measures. There needs to come a better clarity of direct beneficiaries as according to reports 25% of people falling under the stratum of BPL (Below poverty line) would be provided with minimum income.

However, if Indian policymakers wish to implement a UBI, the survey’s central design features offer a weak foundation and hence there would be a dire need of drawing an Economic survey’s Blueprint for Indian UBI to deliver better future results.



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