Q. Consider the following statements about Universal Basic Income (UBI):
1. A UBI plan was first suggested in the Economic Survey of 2020-21.
2. UBI will have specific criterion for selection of beneficiaries.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

[A] 1 only

[B] 2 only

[C] Both 1 and 2

[D] Neither 1 nor 2

Answer: D


What is Universal Basic Income?

  • It is a guaranteed regular cash transfer by the Government to all citizens irrespective of their income or financial condition. As a universal safety net, UBI will be applied to all individuals, irrespective of income and age.
  • The Economic Survey (2016-17) had noted that the UBI has 3 components:
    • Universality: UBI will cover all citizens,
    • Unconditionality: UBI has no criteria to select the beneficiaries
    • Agency: Providing support in the form of cash transfers to respect, not dictate, recipients’ choices.
  • UBI is supposed to be easily accessible, periodic, in the form of funds (and not vouchers/coupons) and is paid to individuals instead of households.

Since governments commit to a legally stipulated and equal financial grant, it is also considered to be a form of social welfare, especially for those who are unemployed, sick and at the end of their working life.

Source: EPIC June 2022