Indian politics currently lacks the maturity to give up subsidies for the greater goal of a universal basic income, finance minister Arun Jaitley said.
In an interview with DD News after presenting the Union budget for 2017-18, Jaitley said the country cannot afford to offer both subsidies and universal basic income. The Economic Survey presented in the Parliament on Tuesday had pitched the idea of a universal basic income.
“I think the Universal Basic Income is a wonderful idea. The Economic Survey is one of the best drafted documents I have ever read. (Chief economic adviser) Arvind Subramanian has put it as Gandhi’s conversation that the poorest must have some income. If you take all the subsidies that the State is giving—the LPG subsidy, the kerosene subsidy, the railways subsidy, fertilizer subsidy—add all these subsidies and instead of a subsidy give the poor a basic income cheque,” Jaitley said.
However, he stated that Indian politics did not have the maturity to absorb the concept.
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