Panaji, Apr 3 : Prof Maitreesh Ghatak, senior professor at the London School of Economics, on Wednesday said that the concept of ‘Universal Basic Income’ (UBI) was ideal for India. Speaking to media persons at the International Centre Goa (ICG), Professor Ghatak said the UBI could be implemented in India, as it was an all-encompassing poverty alleviation scheme.
According to him, the biggest benefit of UBI was that it solved the problem of existing poverty alleviation schemes—that of targeting poor people. Speaking in favour of UBI, Professor Ghatak said that a direct cash transfer of a fixed monthly amount is made into the accounts of every individual, whether poor, middle class or rich. He said as UBI was not a targeted scheme, it could bypass corruption and also allow individuals to plan their own expenditure as opposed to receiving food subsidies.
Pointing out the challenges of the UBI too, Professor Ghatak said, “To make the UBI a real progressive scheme, it necessarily will have to involve significant tax reforms and expenditure cutting by the government.” UBI while being a doable scheme was a long-term policy and could be successfully implemented only after many more individuals were brought into the income tax net, he said. (UNI)