Future of Work 2021: Universal pension is a better idea than universal basic income, says India's Chief Economic Advisor

Advertisement
Future of Work 2021: Universal pension is a better idea than universal basic income, says India's Chief Economic Advisor
According to India’s Chief Economic Advisor, KV Subramanian, universal basic income is “an idea that is impractical”.
  • India’s Chief Economic Advisor, K V Subramanian, said that universal basic income is “an idea that is impractical”.
  • He instead suggested universal pension saying that it is a much better and beneficial scheme.
  • He was of the opinion that people who have worked for around 35-40 years are very much entitled to a lifetime pension.
Universal basic income has been experimented by a few countries, but it’s still a debatable idea with no proper model in place. According to India’s Chief Economic Advisor, KV Subramanian, universal basic income is “an idea that is impractical”. Speaking at Business Insider’s Future of Work Summit, Subramanian said that a universal pension is a much better and beneficial scheme than a universal basic income.

“It’s an idea that is actually sensational enough to capture media attention, but I don’t think it is practical because first thing, if it has to be implemented it has to mean that all subsidies have to be stopped.”

KV Subramaniam

Universal basic income requires the government to give citizens a fixed amount of income regularly irrespective of whether they work or not. Arguments supporting universal basic income say that it could help alleviate poverty, give people more freedom to stay home and care for relatives, and also ensure economic stability during recessions. As for the common arguments against universal basic income, the reasons include possibility of triggering inflation, no increased standard of living and people may not seek out for jobs.


Advertisement

With COVID-19 leading to loss of jobs and financial loss, the idea of a universal basic income has gained momentum. It has even been endorsed by Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg, former US presidential candidate Andrew Yang and Tesla boss Elon Musk.

Instead of a universal basic income, Subramanian is in support of universal pension. “What is important though is to generate protective nets based on pension for instance, and that is something which is very important. That is an aspect that the government is indeed emphasising on. When you have people who are older who may not be able to reskill themselves as much, their going towards a universal pension is something that is very important, ” he said.

According to a report by The Economic Times last month, a study commissioned by the Economic Advisory Council to the Prime Minister (EAC-PM) recommended that the government increase the retirement age and also introduce a Universal Pension Income programme with a minimum payment of ₹1,500-2,500 per month to help the elderly people in the country.

Advertisement
Subramanian explained how people who have actually worked for around 35-40 years, having done all the hard work, are very much entitled to a pension for the rest of their lives. He added that such an idea is “politically implemental and practical”.

SEE ALSO:

Future of Work 2021: The only way to beat the bots from taking your job is to be more human
{{}}