Need Universal Basic Income for Every Worker, Not Subsidies: RSS Affiliated Labour Union
Universal Basic Income is a sum of money guaranteed to citizens and transferred directly to their bank accounts and is being debated globally.
Representative photo. (Image: Reuters)
New Delhi: In order to provide social and financial security to unemployed workers, RSS-linked Mazdoor Sangh chief has batted for implementation of universal basic income and doing away with subsidies ahead of the Budget.
“At the time of elections, political parties had said in their manifestos that they will bring in more employment, but they have been unable to do so. If the government is facing difficulty in generating employment then what is wrong in getting the universal minimum basic income,” said Brijesh Upadhyay, general secretary, Bhartiya Mazdoor Sangh.
Universal Basic Income is a sum of money guaranteed to citizens and transferred directly to their bank accounts and is being debated globally. The Economic Survey 2016-17 had proposed the concept of Universal Basic Income as an alternative to various social welfare schemes such as subsidies in an effort to reduce poverty.
“Subsidies need to be done away with. They are somehow not serving the purpose,” added Upadhyay.
Switzerland in 2016 turned down a proposal in a referendum to guarantee every adult citizen and long-term resident 2,500 Swiss francs (around Rs 1.7 lakh) per month. Finland has quashed the idea as well.
The survey tabled in Parliament, a day prior to the budget by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, elaborated on the benefits and costs of the Universal Basic Income scheme. The survey balanced that Universal Basic Income, based on the principles of universality and unconditionality is a conceptually appealing idea but comes with a number of implementation challenges.
Jammu and Kashmir government became the first state government last year to commit to Universal Basic Income for all citizens living below the poverty line.
“Two things: Wealth is being generated in particular section is getting it allocated all the time. If the situation had been of lack of wealth generation we would have said there is lack of funds. Wealth generation is there but not the wealth governance. There is no cap on income – how much earned generated, no policy on them. We are looking for answers in isolation to the problems,” explained Upadhyay
Finance minister Arun Jaitley in June last year said the idea of Universal Basic Income proposed in the Economic Survey 2016-17 may not be politically feasible in today’s India.
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