Central government in the 2017-18 financial budget on 1st February may announce an ambitious universal basic income scheme for the unemployed and poor. The government is still discussing the idea as a means of addressing poverty and if finalized, it may be announced in the budget on 1st February by Mr. Arun Jaitly.
As per the official and report in Economic Times, the government is discussing the Pros and Cons of the scheme. Because of the huge size of the financial burden on government, such schemes may have implications in terms of delivery and fiscal deficit. The government would take a final decision after through analysis of all the points and discussion.
The government estimates to provide an allowance of Rs. 1500 per month to about 200 million (20 Crore) poor which will put a burden of 3 Lakh crore Rupees and other resources. The target group of the scheme would be the unemployed people with no source of income. The idea of putting the money in the hand of women head of the household is also being considered so that the funds and be utilized in better way.
The SECC-2011 data and the Jan Dhan Accounts may be helpful in identifying target group for such a scheme as per the policymakers. Such universal basic income scheme can be helpful in addressing the poverty but immensely difficult and challenging to implement and target the right beneficiary.
Such Universal Basic Income Schemes have been gaining grounds across the world. Finland government has recently announced a basic income scheme for anyone seeking employment. UK government also offers jobseeker’s allowance for the unemployed.
Many states in India are independently running such schemes for the poor and unemployed, Haryana government has also recently launched Saksham Yuva Yojana for the educated unemployed youth.