Future of Work 2021: Universal pension is a better idea than universal basic income, says India's Chief Economic Advisor
Chief Economic Advisor, K V Subramanian, said that universal basic incomeis “an idea that is impractical”.
- He instead suggested
universal pensionsaying 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.
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“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.”
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.
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.
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