Opinion | UBI is actually Universally Botched by Indians
The focus on UBI takes the pressure off the political class to support structural reforms
The latest trend in development policy is universal basic income (UBI). The idea of UBI has become fashionable recently in developed countries to alleviate stress caused by the unemployment resulting from automation and globalization. In developing countries, it solves a different problem. The leakages from targeted welfare transfers caused by low state capacity and corruption can be solved by replacing the flawed schemes with a single income transfer available to all. UBI is being sold as the solution to all developmental and social problems, but it is far from perfect. While there are many problems with UBI—in its current form—for India, the most important one is that it takes the pressure off politicians to undertake the structural reforms required to unshackle economic growth.