Recently, in the light of events during a nationwide lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NHRC received a recommendation from UNHRC to implement a Universal Basic Income (UBI) Scheme. The migrant crisis and the inability of the government to ensure a smooth transition to handle a health emergency and the reverberation related to unemployment, unleashed various opinions from experts to do the same.
In the periodic report submitted by NHRC to the UN body, it asserted that the government considers every stakeholder while forming economic policies. The pandemic will have positive consequences on future considerations, informed the authorities.
About Universal Basic Income Scheme
The UBI refers to a series of economic deliberations around the efforts of the government to provide a stable, uniform income to every citizen. This amount shall help the citizens to help with the essentials of living a life of dignity. The citizens may be given a free hand to spend the income and the transaction will be unconditional. First elaborated in the Indian Economic Survey of 2016-2017, UBI proposed as a prudent solution to economic stagnation. Also, it promises relief to an extremely poverty-ridden class of people in society.
Various experts have opinionated in favour of the Universal Basic Income Scheme since the inception of its idea. The most important consideration is the emancipatory value the scheme will sow the seeds of. In a country like India, where the informal sector is full of loopholes when it comes to uniform income, introducing emancipatory economic aspects becomes important. Another aspect was something PM Modi has been vouching for- engagement in the formal banking sector.
UBI will accelerate the engagement of citizens in the formal baking sector to uplift the smooth functioning of economic institutions. This will provide more access to banking, making people more pragmatic about their monetary planning, down to the rural areas.
Is India UBI Ready?
Widespread speculations about the irregularities informal banking have hindered the implementation of UBI. The aspect of inconsiderate spending is scary as the idea of spending remains subjective. People spending on things that would impair savings, like drugs and alcohol would bring the ideology down to shambles. Also, a major drawback of UBI is the unavailability of labour. The informal sector poses a spontaneous factor in keeping the major sectors working. Deteriorated engagement of labour may prove disastrous.