Recently while delivering a speech at his alma-matter Harvard University, CEO and Founder of Facebook Mark Zuckerberg advocated for countries to have universal basic income.
He said, "We should explore ideas like universal basic income to make sure that everyone has a cushion to try new ideas.”
It is not just Zuckerberg who has stood for the idea but other influential voices such as Elon Musk, Y Combinator President Sam Altman, eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and Nobel Laureate Christopher Pissarides have supported the idea.
Elon Musk in a government summit in Dubai earlier this year said, “I think ultimately we will have to have some kind of universal basic income, I don’t think we are going to have a choice.”
Sam Altman last year said, "Everyone should have enough money to meet their basic needs—no matter what, especially if there are enough resources to make it possible. We don't yet know how it should look or how to pay for it, but basic income seems a promising way to do this."
What is universal basic income?
Universal basic income means a person, irrespective of age, wealth, employment status, family size, etc, gets a basic paycheck from the government or a public financial institution.
In simple terms it means every person will get a basic paycheck, with no strings attached.
What is India's stand on UBI?
Arun Jaitley, Finance Minister of India said the proposal is not politically feasible.
I have always expressed to him (chief economic adviser in the finance ministry Arvind Subramanian) the fear that once he moots ideas like the Universal Basic Income, we will be landing in a situation where people will stand up in Parliament and demand continuation of the present subsidies and over and above that, let’s have the Universal Basic Income, something that the budget will not be able to afford,” he said.
He added that once he moots an idea like that expectations of people will start going up.