It will enhance bargaining power against traders, middlemen, contractors, creditors and landlords
The idea of an unconditional universal basic income (UBI) for everybody, rich or poor, has been around for quite some time in the West. But until recently this has not been discussed much in India. More than five years back, in an Economic And Political Weekly article (5 March 2011) I had suggested this for India, funded by a part of the regressive subsidies that now go to the better-off. In an interview with Mint in 2014, I again referred to the idea. Renana Jhabvala of the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA), when she saw that interview, brought to my attention her co-authored 2015 book on basic income for India. More recently, Vijay Joshi, in his 2016 book, has adopted the idea of UBI funded by regressive subsidies.