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proposal of the ‘Economic Survey 2016-17’, the availability of resources, it should look sizeable to
advice is to recycle the funds of the existing central show an impact on the beneficiaries. As a proposal,
sector and centrally sponsored schemes run by the the NITI Aayog CEO has proposed a sum of Rs
GoI. But such schemes cannot be shut down to 1,000 on monthly basis while the survey proposed
start UBI. This could be done in phased way only. (more as an example) a sum of Rs 7,620 monthly.
Till then the GoI needs to mobilise additional Normally, it is believed that without transferring
funds for it through budgetary or non-budgetary a sizeable amount of money (which may bring in
sources. Given the projection that once the comfort to the beneficiaries), the scheme may not
proposed GST is implemented from July 2017, remain effective. Though, to begin with even a
the shortfall in the tax collections is estimated to lower sum of transfer also looks good.
remain around Rs 66,000 crore (due to curtailment Financial inclusion, inclusion and exclusion,
of many cesses and surcharges), budgetary support regulation and assessment, etc. are the other
does not look a very viable option. involved issues related to it. The scheme looks
Though certain other positive measures are also under examination and study of the GoI in
in the pipeline, such as increased tax compliance present time. Once it is announced only then
due to emphasis on less-cash, the proposed ceiling these concerns will settle down.
on cash transactions, linking Aadhar to PAN for
filing income tax returns and linking Aadhar to the benefits
transactions, etc., the implementation of the GST The welfare schemes India has been implementing
is supposed to increase tax collections (though in have been faced with certain common problems,
medium term) together with checking the evasion misallocations of funds, wastage and seepage,
of direct and indirect taxes. inclusion and exclusion factors, ghost beneficiaries,
Selecting the beneficiaries: Clues from the name corruption, the cost of operating them, etc. being
suggest it to be applying on all. But as per the the major ones. For this and other reasons, it has
Survey as well as the GoI expressions, the scheme been argued to give serious consideration to the
is proposed to be launched partially. In this case, idea of the UBI. This will have several merits in it
the target population may be taken from the missing the current redistribution schemes, such
lower strata of the below poverty line. The NITI as:
Aayog CEO has proposed it for the bottom 20 (i) It will be given from above minimising
per cent of the BPL population at the time of its several maladies of existing schemes.
launch. This could be linked to the general policy (ii) It is less likely to be prone to exclusion
framework of social justice also. This will not only errors.
keep the financial requirements on lower side but (iii) By directly transferring money to bank
also give some time to the government to recycle accounts, and bypassing multiple layers of
the funds from several welfare schemes it either bureaucracy, the scope for ‘out of system’
runs or sponsors. A suggestion came from the leakages (in case of the PDS running up
GoI in favour of transferring the cash into the to 45 per cent) will be quite lower.
accounts of women head of the family (which will
promote the ideas of inclusive growth and women conclusion
empowerment also). There are considerable challenges of
The amount of transfer: How much money implementation, which will have to be debated
should be transferred though is guided by the and addressed properly before going for the UBI.