The idea of social security system is not uncommon world over.The UK and Finland government offer a job seeker’s allowance for the unemployed.
As per The Economic Times report, the idea is being discussed in government quarters as a means of addressing poverty and if a decision is reached, it could be announced in the February 1 budget by FM Arun Jaitley. At the moment, opinion is divided over whether it should be a universal basic income or more focused support limited to the most vulnerable, added the report.
If a universal basic income of Rs 1,500 a month is provided to an estimated 200 million poor, it will cost the government about Rs 3 lakh crore.Jammu & Kashmir became the first Indian state to commit to the idea of a universal basic income during its budget presentation last week.
Generating resources at the back of dire need of lowering the fiscal deficit to 3 percent of GDP in FY18 may seem stretched.
However, if resource generation rises in the wake of demonetisation and the upcoming rollout of the goods and services tax (GST), the government may be in a good position to back such a scheme, added the report.
The target group is said to include unemployed people with no source of income. One idea is to put the money in the hands of the woman of the household so that funds are better utilised, said the report.