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Agricultural Economics Research Review
Year : 2018, Volume : 31, Issue : conf
First page : ( 268) Last page : ( 268)
Print ISSN : 0971-3441. Online ISSN : 0974-0279.

Universal basic income for India: Insights from UBI experiments on the political, social and economic aspects of policy formulation and implementation

Adeeth Cariappa A Ga, Srinivas Apoorva

aDivision of Dairy Economics, Statistics and Management, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal-132001, Haryana

bNational Law School of India University, Bengaluru, Karnataka

Online published on 5 December, 2018.


Even after seven decades of Indian independence, statistics show that one in every five Indians is poor, this means poverty has not been eradicated completely. We are realizing that growth-led economic development has not led to trickle-down effect and the present welfare schemes have in-fact led to exclusion of poor due to leakages and deficient targeting. It is time to look for alternative policies. Universal basic income is a policy that can respond to this crisis of inequality and poverty. The shift to guaranteed income will be much smoother in Scandinavian countries which have homogenous population, greater proportion of formal sector and guaranteed employment. However, India is a low-middle income country, a society in transition with diverse large population and vast informal sector. People can be prone to several uncertain shocks even when a policy has several merits. This was best demonstrated when the union government took radical decisions such as the implementation of GST and demonetization in a short period of time. Therefore, as lesson learnt, when it comes to implementation of a policy like universal basic income, the relationship between State and people must be more mutual and cooperative. Consensus of both parties is absolutely necessary, both must be aware of the policy and people must enjoy the experience of uplifting themselves to better standard of living. When implemented radically at a pan-India level it can lead to higher inflation and low productivity. Therefore, it can be implemented gradually, following an incremental approach, subject to participatory role of the states with leadership of civil society and engagement of informal sector. Taking a closer look at the present political economy, Guy Standing has hailed that universal basic income in reality is a force that counters the rise of neo-fascist wave of populism, inequality and economic instability (Colson 2017).


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