New Delhi: `Achhe Din' are not far. What Finland is doing, PM Narendra Modi will do it to. What Congress has promised in Punjab, Modi government will do it pan India. Yes, a simple version of universal basic income (UBI) will be reality in India. Under UBI, the government will give cash to the unemployed.
The UBI-clone announcement is expected to be made in budget. A cash sop of Rs 5,000 per year for each unemployed person is what government is planning. Initially, this will be restricted to the poorest sections of the society.
The jobless benefit is being seen as a substitute for the classical UBI. For now India doesn't have enough funds to unveil a universal basic income, that countries like Finland are implementing.
A classical UBI is a social security scheme, where citizens regularly get a sum of money from the government or public institutions.
The Niti Aayog reportedly is working on a monthly social security scheme for the jobless from poor families.The stipend being worked out is around Rs 416 a month.
Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab and Chhattisgarh have such schemes for the unemployed, but it will be a first by the Centre.
However, calculation of jobless is not an easy task. In 2015, the total workforce was estimated at 480 million, of which around 85% were in the informal sector, a fact that makes it difficult to calculate the exact number of jobless.
No country in the world has implemented a full-fledged UBI. Finland will start it on pilot basis with 2,000 citizens, while Switzerland voted against it last June. (News24Bureau)