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Universal Basic Income in India | The Encyclopedia | Lucky Ali Saifi

Universal Basic Income in India. 

Universal basic income is a government policy in which every citizen of the country will get some specific amount of money each month. India's universal basic income is given to every class of citizens,e Poor, low, middle, and Rich.

The government plans to give India universal basic income to deal with job losses soon due to automation and Artificial Intelligence (AI).

What is the universal basic income in India?

How would you feel if I told you that the government would pay you 1000 rupees every month for free without doing any work? Not only you but every citizen of the country.

You will think it is impossible, but this is an economic policy implemented in so many countries today. This monetary policy is called universal basic income.

Universal means for all and basic income means that a specific income level is given to every person for free.

Why Universal basic income (UBI)?

What are the reasons behind the Universal basic income (UBI)? Why is the government planning to distribute money for free? Where will that money come from?

One of the fundamental reasons behind Universal basic income is job losses in the future due to automation and artificial intelligence.

There will be so many job losses in the future and that not everyone will be able to get a job shortly. Because of unemployment, people will not be able to run their necessary expenses like food, clothes, and shelter. So it is essential to provide them some basic income by which they can afford a basic standard of living.

Some examples of job losses due to automation are:-

In many developed countries, there are self-checkout counters have been installed in malls and supermarkets. Usually, a person sits at the counter and scans the barcode of the products or items. But due to self-checkout counters, there will be no need for that employee who examines the barcode.

Similarly, MacDonald's self-checkout screens have been installed in many countries, which means there will no employee stand at the counter and place your order.

Robot vacuum- Robot vacuum cleaners are also launched recently, fulfilling the need for a house help maid.

Driverless cars- Self-driven cars will also be there in the future. Tesla is working on it and make self-driving to quite a large extent. There will be no need for taxi drivers if driverless cars will manufacture such vehicles.

As technology is upgrading day by day, there will be job losses increase in every sector.

Since the corona-virus crisis has unfolded, there are already so many job losses, and so many businesses have closed.

The idea of UBI is being considered almost in a fast forward manner.

For instance, Spain has declared that it has already started implementing a UBI scheme under which the government will give 462 Euros to every citizen every month.

Note: Following advantages and disadvantages are not yet applied on a large scale, so these are just assumptions.

Positive effects and advantages of universal basic income:

  • Eradicate poverty:  There will be no poverty if everyone gets enough money to afford the basic standard of living, and it will encourage equality in the nation and society.
  • More freedom to choose jobs: The employee who are getting a minimal amount of money as salary and those who are doing their jobs only to afford necessary expenses, they do not need to do such jobs, and they can pursue their hobbies and do such work that they are compassionate for.
  • When people are compassionate to their work, this will increase society's overall happiness. In general, innovation will also increase as people are working on such jobs that they are compassionate for.
  • More quality time with family: The families would get more time to spend with one another, if someone wants to work part-time and does not want to remain employed full time, that's also a choice. It would no longer be a compulsion to stay employed full time.
  • Opportunities for higher education: The one who wants to study in school or universities will get enough time to learn. There is no need to join a job right after start.
  • Universal Scheme: It applies to everyone, without any conditions and any paperwork. It would diminish (the need for) bureaucracy, the government can save money in administrative costs. The government would not need to check whether someone is misusing the scheme or whether someone is not following it correctly or not, or if the money is being siphoned off elsewhere where it should not go. All of it would not happen.

In the government's regular unemployment benefits or other welfare schemes, it is tough to regulate to make sure that the money reaches the right destination.

Adverse effects and disadvantages of universal basic income:

  • Free money will make people lazy: People would become lazy if everyone got money for free, nobody would want to work. If no one would like to work, then how would the nation develop?

  • Free money will cause inflation:  The people would want to spend money on different things. If they're going to spread on other things, then the demand for those things would increase, and the producers of these goods and services would like to produce more, but if the supply chain does not allow the production of more items, then they would increase the cost of their products.

They would see that the demand for things has risen so much in the economy, then they think about raising money and making more profit. If the prices rise, then those things would become unaffordable again, so the value of the basic income would fall, so the value of money would decrease, and the situation would remain as it was. The money does not have enough deal to buy products.

So, then, basic income would no longer remain basic.

  • Free money will lead to over-dependency: If people depend on that money, then the chances of an economic crash will increase. If that policy stops in the future, people will not be able to run their expenses because people will not know how to bear their costs without that money.
  • Where will the money come from? : As India is the second-largest populated country, it will be very costly for the government to give 1000 RS to each country's citizens.

Our country's overall growth will stop if the government spent the UBI fund; that fund can be used for public services such as hospitals, colleges, schools, etc.

  • Reduction in labor supply: It will be hard to get labor because now people are earning enough money to bear their necessary expenses, so they do not need to work as labor, and they will work on their hobby and passion.

How to deal with job losses in the future?

To deal with job losses due to Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation, the best way to secure a job is to develop new skills as technology improves day by day.

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