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Universal Basic Income

  • Sikkim’s ruling party, the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF),recently declared to include the Universal Basic Income scheme in its manifesto ahead of the Assembly election in 2019 and aims to implement it by 2022. If everything goes according to the plan, it will be the first state to implement UBI in India.

What is Universal Basic Income?

o Universal Basic Income (UBI) is a programme for providing all citizens of a country or other geographic area/state with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status.

o The main idea behind UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens. The essential principle behind Universal basic income is the idea that all citizens are entitled to a livable income, irrespective of thecircumstances they’re born in.

o TheEconomicSurvey2016-17 advocated the conceptof Universal Basic Income (UBI) as an alternative to the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty.

o The Survey points out that the two prerequisites for a successful UBI are: (a) functional JAM (Jan Dhan, Aadhar and Mobile) system as it ensures that the cash transfer goes directly into the account of a beneficiary and (b) Centre- State negotiations on cost sharing for the programme.

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