Sikkim will become the first state to provide Salary to all the citizens
Unemployment is a huge issue in the entire nation, most policies aim at revenue and employment generation but there have been none to provide basic secure income to all citizens. The Government of Sikkim might be the first government to provide salary to all of its citizens. The party in power Sikkim Democratic front, headed by Pawan Chamling has included UBI in its manifesto for the assembly polls which are due with the 2019 General elections.
Universal Basic Income scheme India
The Universal Basic Income scheme aims to benefit the entire population of the state which around 7 lakh. This scheme will be accessible to all irrespective of their current economic or social status. It is being proposed that after implementation, the state government will deposit a fixed amount in the accounts of the beneficiaries every month.
If implemented successfully, this major landmark initiative will provide great financial security to the citizens. Also, there will be a betterment in the quality of life of the citizens as there will be no fear of meeting the basic requirements of life. However, it will be interesting to note if the government would still provide the currently active subsidies and aids. Presently many programs provide waivers, subsidies, and aids to people on the basis of various criteria. The government could easily stop all those expenditures by crediting a basic salary to everybody’s account.
A leading daily quoted SDF MP in the Lok Sabha, Prem Das Rai, as saying that: “Our party and chief minister Pawan Chamling, who is the longest-serving chief minister, are committed to bringing in Universal Basic Income. This, we will do three years of coming back to power in the state.”
“UBI is a scheme that a number of economists have talked about and it works well in developing countries. It has been tested even in India, debated within the finance ministry as early as 2017,” he said.
The SDF parliamentarian has also mentioned that the scheme will help the people follow their dreams, as they will not have to worry about the financial aspects much. The initiative sounds lucrative and promising and will be a major milestone is achieved. The question is how the government will arrange funds for such an ambitious scheme.
From where the funds will be collected for the Universal Basic Income scheme?
The government is planning to use the funds generated by supplying hydroelectricity to other states. Assam produced 2200 MW power which is estimated to increase up to 3000 MW in the years to come. Since the domestic demand is not more than 300 MW, surplus electricity will be supplied to other states. The money, in turn, will be used to fund the UBI scheme. In addition to this, the tourism industry will also add to the revenue. Such initiatives might be the torch bearer for other states and will establish social security for the beneficiary citizens.