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Universal Basic Income may be launched as pilot project

Proposed by the Economic Survey, Universal Basic Income is under consideration of Centre which can be implemented as pilot project across the country

Extolling virtues of the Universal Basic Income (UBI), Finance Minister Arun Jaitley today said at ASSOCHAM event at least one state is willing to take a plunge and launch a pilot on the scheme, proposed by the Economic Survey.

“UBI is an idea worth considering. Today I had the first finance minister of a state meeting me to say that my state is willing to take a plunge as a pilot project pooling all the state and central subsidies. We will identify the poor people of the state, give cheque to a family every month” Jaitley said, addressing the ASSOCHAM Annual Event.

This way he said, poverty can be eliminated over night in a region where it is implemented. Referring to the theme of the event ‘India Transforming Through Radical Reforms’ the Finance Minister said that the biggest reform that India need today is that people must pay tax. In this context he mentioned the combined effect of the Goods and Services Tax and demonetisation would take India to a new path of reforms, enabling large part of informal economy into the formal economy. The integration of the informal economy into formal one would lead to higher tax revenue and thereby lower tax rates.

“We create a new normal and break away from the old normal of how much cash and how much cheque for every transaction. Today you are moving towards a system where generating that cash will be difficult and spending that cash will be difficult. Probably the incentive to be on the right side of law is going to be much higher.”

The Finance Minister said that as another measure the discretionary powers have been replaced by rule base system. The result was that India’s image that it is a corrupt society and therefore difficult society to do business has been written off substantially if not completely.

Earlier welcoming the Finance Minister, ASSOCHAM president Sunil Kanoria said that the Government has brought in a large number of reforms that would take India to a next level of economic development. 

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