Budget: Telangana looks to Arun Jaitley for universal basic income

There is a belief that Universal Basic Income will encourage wasteful expenditure, but a study shows otherwise.

Hyderabad: A day before the Union Budget is presented in Parliament on February 1, the state government is betting big on the possible rollout of Universal Basic Income scheme for those people living below the poverty line through a direct cash transfer scheme in the place of existing welfare schemes.

The TS government is keen to bring all its welfare schemes under the ambit of UBI, if the Centre rolls out the scheme in its Budget. There are speculations that the Centre may announce UBI in the ensuing Budget to check leakages in delivery of welfare schemes like public distribution system and social security pensions among others and instead transfer cash directly to the beneficiaries every month to their bank accounts.

There are indications that the money equal to the subsidy amount being spent on each beneficiary would be directly remitted to their bank accounts. This will give them the freedom to spend the amount as per their needs

Since the seeding of Aadhaar data of beneficiaries with their bank accounts and welfare schemes has almost been completed in Telangana state, the government feels the time is ripe to implement UBI, if Centre rolls out the scheme now.

“The implementation of welfare schemes involves 30 per cent of operational costs. This expenditure can be saved through direct cash transfer. Besides, the leakages and irregularities in the implementation and delivery process could be curbed,” said finance and civil supplies minister Etela Rajendar. He stated that the state government was not sure whether the Centre would roll out the UBI or not.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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