Sikkim to Introduce Universal Basic Income
The ruling party of Sikkim, Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF) has assured the implementation of the universal basic income in Sikkim by 2022. If things go as per plan, Sikkim would become the first state in the country to implement the Universal Basic Income (UBI).
Universal Basic Income (UBI)
Universal Basic Income (UBI) refers to a programme wherein the people are provided with a fixed amount of money irrespective of their income, resources or employment status.
Resources for Funding the UBI
The state of Sikkim aims to mobilise the resources for funding the UBI through the following avenues:
- Sikkim is a power-surplus state. Sikkim produces 2200 MW and the requirement of the state is only 200-300 MW. The power generation capacity would further go up to 3000 MW in a few years. The revenue from the selling of the surplus power would provide extra revenue, which the government plans to divert to implement UBI.
- Sikkim also plans to subsume other subsidies and allowances in order to provide a particular amount every month to people.
Benefits of UBI
The 2017 Economic Survey had proposed UBI as a conceptually appealing idea which could be a possible alternative to social welfare programmes targeted at reducing poverty.
The advocates of the UBI praise the concept as futuristic which will allow the people to look into the future without worrying too much about income to sustain themselves.
The pilot programmes for the UBI has been successfully implemented in the states Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and tribal belts with fairly large samples.