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IPFS News Link • India

Universal Basic Income For India Suddenly Trendy. Look Out

• by Jean Dreze

A glance at the original source quickly negates this claim: it is based on nothing more than "seeds of a thought" (sic) from the Finance Minister of J&K about possible cash transfers for a small minority of poor households. This is not a commitment, and it is not UBI anyway.

There have been other cases of active promotion of UBI in the business media in recent weeks. For example, a guarded statement by Professor Guy Standing, welcoming news that UBI might be discussed in the forthcoming Economic Survey, was widely relayed as an insider's revelation that UBI was about to be launched in India. Similarly, reference is often made to Finland as "the first country with UBI," yet Finland has gone no further than a tiny pilot scheme of unconditional cash transfers for 2000-odd recipients. Clearly, UBI has become a subject of half-truths, if not post-truths.

But let's leave propaganda aside for now, and look at UBI proposals on their own merits. Two influential proposals have been made recently.