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2nd March- The Hindu Editorial - Part-2 (in Hindi)
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Subhodeep Das
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Juhi Mishra
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AFNAN NISAR
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  1. THEDU EDITORIAL DISCUSSION 2nd March THE HINDU


  2. Ensure a minimum income for all A basic income scheme will deliver benefits to the poor only if it comes on top of public services. UBHODESP


  3. The idea of a universal basic income (UBI) is gaining ground globally It has supporters among the political left and right, and among proponents as well as opponents of the free-market economy. A UBI requires the government to pay every citizen a fixed amount of money on a regular basis and without any conditionalities. UBHODESP


  4. Crucial to the appeal for such a demand for a UBI is that millions of people remain unemployed and are extremely poor, despite rapid economic growth in the last three decades. The National Democratic Alliance government has already unfolded a limited version of the UBI in the form of the Pradhanmantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) which promises 6,000 per annum to farmers who own less than 2 hectares of land Going by media reports, the election manifesto of the Congress Party may announce an even more ambitious version of the scheme. UBHODESP


  5. Where it will work The UBl is neither an antidote to the vagaries of market forces nora substitute for basic public services, especially health and education Besides, there is no need to transfer money to middle-and high income earners as well as large landowners. However, there is a strong case for direct income transfers to some groups: landless labourers, agricultural workers and marginal farmers who suffer from multi-dimensional poverty. These groups have not benefited from economic growth They were and still are the poorest Indians Various welfare schemes have also failed to bring them out of penury. UBHODESP


  6. Institutional credits access - poor So, borrow from moneylenders - at exorbitant interest rates ranging from 24 to 60%. As a result, they do not stand to benefit much from the interest rate subsidy for the agriculture sector. Likewise, the benefits of subsidised fertilizers and power are enjoyed largely by big farmers. The rapid pace of automation of low-skill jobs and formalisation of the retail sector mean the prospects of these groups are even bleaker. UBHODEE


  7. UBI additional income can reduce the incidence of indebtedness among marginal farmers, thereby helping them escape moneylenders Several studies have shown that at high levels of impoverishment, even a small income supplement can improve nutrient intake, and increase enrolment and school attendance for students coming from poor households. in turn would lead to a more productive workforce. It seems to be a good idea to transfer the money into the bank accounts of women of the beneficiary households. Women tend to spend more of their income on health and the education of children. UBHODESP


  8. Critics cash transfers can result in withdrawal of beneficiaries from the labour force. However, the income support suggested above is not too large to discourage beneficiaries from seeking work In fact, it can promote employment and economic activities. UBHODESP


  9. Immediate benefits. One, it will help bring a large number of households out of the poverty trap or prevent them from falling into it in the event of exigencies such as illness. Two, it will reduce income inequalities. Three, since the poor spend most of their income, a boost in their income will increase demand and promote economic activities in rural areas. UBHODESP


  10. Direct transfers should not be at the expense of public services for primary health and education. Programmes such as the Mahatma Gandhi Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme should also stay. Benificiery - Using datasets If basic public services are maintained, there is limited fiscal space for direct income support households. The Socio-Economicand Caste Census (SECC) 2011 can be used to It will have to be restricted to the poorest of poor identify the neediest. UBHODESP


  11. Groups suffering from multidimensional poverty such as the destitute, the shelter-less, manual scavengers, tribal groups, and former bonded labourers are automatically included. The dataset includes more than six crore landless labourers. It also includes many small farmers who face deprivation criteria such as families without any bread-earning adult member, and those without a pucca house. Also dataset from the Agriculture Census of 2015-16 As an approximation, the number of eligible households is 10 crore. That is, even in its basic form, the scheme will require approximately 1.5 lakh crore per annum. UBHODESP


  12. The tax kitty can be expanded by reintroducing wealth tax. Nonetheless, the required amount is beyond the Centre's fiscal capacity at the moment. Therefore, the cost will have to be shared by States. States such as Telangana and Odisha are already providing direct income support to their farmers. These States can extend their schemes to include the 'non farmer poor'. The income transfer scheme is costly. However, the cost of persistent poverty is much higher. UBHODESP