The Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme is expected to be launched over the next one year’s time. UBI will aim to provide a minimum amount of cash to poor people, so that they can meet their basic needs. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said that the scheme would be launched on a trial basis in some parts of the country over the next one year.
The concept of UBI was proposed by Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian. In his proposal for UBI, Subramanian had pointed out that UBI will act as a replacement for subsidies. He had claimed that subsidies meant for benefitting the poor end up benefitting the rich. He had said that UBI will directly benefit the poor by depositing a minimum amount of cash in their bank accounts. This would contribute significantly to reduce poverty among the masses. If successful, UBI will replace all subsidies currently offered by the government.
Arun Jaitley described Subramanian’s idea as quite unconventional and hopes that it will bring about a change. Jaitley said that UBI can be made successful, as the country has been witnessing increased growth and rapid infrastructure development. He hopes UBI to significantly reduce poverty levels in the country over the next 2-3 decades.