DAVID HARVEY (born in Gillingham, Kent, England) is a Distinguished Professor at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), Director of THE CENTER FOR PLACE, CULTURE AND POLITICS and author of numerous books, including SOCIAL JUSTICE AND THE CITY, THE CONDITION OF POSTMODERNITY, THE LIMITS TO CAPITAL, A BRIEF HISTORY OF NEOLIBERALISM, SPACES OF HOPE, A COMPANION TO MARX´S CAPITAL, THE ENIGMA OF CAPITAL and REBEL CITIES.

India and Cash Transfers
A UBI in India not only would reimagine the social contract between 1.3 billion citizens and their state but also could provide a blueprint for every other low- and middle-income country wanting to take the plunge.

Published February 14, 2018

the well-theorized path to economic growth for emerging economies involved building a large, labor-intensive manufacturing sector that would grow more productive. This, in turn, would drive economy-wide industrialization and would hasten an eventual transition to a service economy.  this relationship has broken down in recent years, a trend he labels “premature deindustrialization. 

If Indian policymakers fail either to create opportunities for unskilled labor or to equip future entrants into the labor force with the education required for high-skill employment, calls for a drastic expansion of the country’s social safety net will likely increase.

India’s contemporary interest in a UBI has emerged from a far more recent debate among the country’s development policymakers on whether direct cash transfers deliver benefits and alleviate poverty more efficiently than in-kind transfer programs like the public distribution system (PDS) or the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA).


India’s Basic Income Experiment by Rasmus Schjoed 

Cash transfers will obviously not solve all issues faced by vulnerable people but, given how complex issues of poverty are, it is amazing how much can be done simply by providing people with a small extra income on a regular and predictable basis.

Basic Income: A Transformative Policy for India 

Countering critics’ expectation that providing a basic income would lead to squandered spending, the beneficiaries quickly made improvements to basic living conditions, nutrition, schooling, and other areas. By the end of the pilot, almost twice as many households in the basic income villages that did not previously have a latrine in their home now possessed one, compared to the control villages. Consumption of fresh vegetables in the basic income villages increased by 888 per cent. And illness levels were lower in the basic income villages than in the control villages.

The authors believe firmly in the transformational power of unconditional cash transfers. A key example of this from the Madhya Pradesh work concerns indebtedness, which is chronic and common in the area. Among the households that received basic incomes, debt was dramatically reduced both early in the pilot and after it concluded. Not only was the basic income amount used to pay off existing debt, it also reduced the likelihood of individuals securing more – and more exploitative – loans.

Difference between Minimum Guarantee Scheme (MIG) and Universal Basic Income (UBI)  Mar 26, 2019

In the Economic Survey 2016-17 Finance Minister Shri Arun Jaitley has advocated the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI) to replace the various social welfare schemes in an effort to reduce poverty. On the other hand Rahul Gandhi has promised to give Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) to the poor citizens of the country. MIG is a targeted scheme while UBI is a universal scheme.

Rahul Gandhi promises minimum income scheme: How it works for India March 25, 2019
Until a few years ago, UBI -- the idea that government guarantees a fixed monthly income to every citizen of a country -- was largely utopian. But now, with Rahul Gandhi's announcement, the idea has entered the mainstream.

a minimum income guarantee (MIG) scheme  if Congress came to power after 2019 Lok Sabha polls, 20 per cent families in poorest of the poor category would be given Rs 72,000 each annually as a minimum income.

UBI was first flagged in the Economic Survey 2016-17 as a conceptually appealing idea and a possible alternative to social welfare programmes.

The Congress president’s minimum income guarantee for the poor is a spinoff of the concept of UBI, which is a model for providing all citizens of the country or a geographic area with a sum of money.

UBI FOR INDIA -- the formula

Poverty line or the estimated minimum level of income needed to sustain life was fixed at Rs 7,620 per person/annum, based on economist Suresh Tendulkar’s poverty line formula.

The survey had estimated that such a model of UBI will cost 4.9 per cent of India’s GDP in comparison to 5.2 per cent of GDP spent on all 950 central sector and centrally sub-sponsored schemes. 

Under the scheme, income transfer was envisaged through direct benefit transfer to the concerned individual using Aadhar. It was also recommended to start the scheme with women, elderly people, widows, and persons with disability.