Sikkim is set to become the first state in India to launch Universal Basic Income (UBI). The idea of universal basic income has gained popularity in the western nations due to the threat of automation-induced job losses. In India, the idea gained ground due to the chronic poverty & inequality and the government’s failure to provide subsidies effectively to poor people. Moreover, the persistent farm distress and poor wage growth across occupations also highlight the need for an income support scheme in India.
While listing out the achievements of the government in social welfare measures, President Ram Nath Kovind recently mentioned that, under the Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana, 6 crore women had become members of self-help groups and the government had provided loans worth over Rs 75,000 crore to such groups.
According to the Asia-Pacific wealth report, Japan’s richest persons have the largest wealth accumulation in the Asia-Pacific region, however, Chinese millionaires are also catching up to them. Meanwhile, Indian millionaires are adding wealth at the fastest in the region, which India can take pride in it. But the reality is that the bottom 60%, the majority of the population, owns less than 5% of the country’s wealth. This growing inequality threatens to destroy the fabric of Indian democracy.