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Indian Journal of Economics and Development
Year : 2019, Volume : 15, Issue : 1
First page : ( 142) Last page : ( 149)
Print ISSN : 2277-5412. Online ISSN : 2322-0430.
Article DOI : 10.5958/2322-0430.2019.00016.7

Universal Basic Income for India: The Way Towards Right to Equality-A Review

Cariappa A.G. Adeeth1,*, Srinivas Apoorva2

1Ph. D. Scholar, ICAR-National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal-132001

2Master of Public Policy, Institute of Public Policy, National Law School of India University, Bangalore-560072

*Corresponding author's email: adeeth07@gmail.com

JELCodes: H53, H75, I31, I38, J18, O15, O21

Online published on 6 April, 2019.


The Economic Survey of India 2016–17 proposed universal basic income as a means to end those welfare schemes in India plagued by inefficiency and misallocation. This paper assesses the results of cash transfer pilots in India and countries across the world to explore the potential of universal basic income in India. The pilot study at Madhya Pradesh proved that universal basic income led to near-universal financial inclusion, reduced indebtedness of the households and access to regular medication. Delhi's study proved that direct income enabled households to make a transition to better sanitation, cleaner fuel and consumption of non-cereals. Kenya's experiment showed a significant positive effect on psychological well-being due to regular monthly income. Recently, guaranteed income for farmers was announced under various schemes of states and the interim budget of the union government for the fiscal year 2019–20 taking into cognizance of persistent distress in agriculture. Such schemes must retain the element of continuity and commitment irrespective of the government of the day to ensure sustainability and desired outcomes. Further, the various facets of the changing political economy of India to drive the narrative of the universal basic income meaningfully were discussed.



Cash transfers, financial inclusion, inequality, socio-economic welfare.


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