Sikkim To Become First State To Roll Out Universal Basic Income? Ruling SDF Promises Implementation By 2022

Women in Sikkim (Indranil Bhoumik/Mint via Getty Images) 

The Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), the ruling party of the state, has declared that it would include the Universal Basic Income (UBI) scheme in its manifesto ahead of the Assembly election in 2019 with an aim to implement it by 2022, reports India Today.

According to the report, if everything goes according to the plan, Sikkim will be the first state to implement UBI in India.

UBI is a model for providing all citizens of a country or other geographic area with a given sum of money, regardless of their income, resources or employment status. The main idea behind UBI is to prevent or reduce poverty and increase equality among citizens.

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“Our party and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who is the longest serving Chief Minister, are committed to bringing in Universal Basic Income. This, we will do three years of coming back to power in the state.” SDF Lok Sabha MP Prem Das Rai was quoted in an Indian Express report as saying.

According to the report, SDF government has already considered the “affordability” of the scheme. It aims to divert money generated from various sources to the income scheme.

"The state produces 2200 MW and it will go up to 3000 MW in the next few years. The state's requirement is only 200-300 MW and the rest goes to power trading firms. When this money comes in, we as SDF feels its people's money and it should be utilized for them." he said.

The idea is to subsume other subsidies and allowances in order to provide a particular amount every month to people, Rai said.

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