Universal basic income: It should only be given as repayable loan says Amitabh Kant, NITI Aayog CEO

New Delhi, Jan 19: With some sections in the global economy pushing for universal basic income concept, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant today said any such payout should be given only as a repayable loan.

While some countries have positively reacted to this concept, there have been talks that India can also consider such a move though there has been no official word on this.
Speaking at a session here at the WEF Annual Meeting here, Kant said, “Provide universal basic income, but as a repayable loan for productive purposes.”

He was part of a panel discussing whether universal basic income was a dream or delusion.

The panel discussed that fundamental shifts in the world of work are eroding traditional social safety nets and whether a universal basic income could be the solution.

Against the backdrop of rising concerns over technological innovations and automation could take away jobs, the idea of universal basic income is doing the rounds.

Implementation of such a concept would mean that individuals would stand to get a certain amount as income. Finland has started experimenting with this concept and some other countries are also likely to try it out.

Last year, voters in Switzerland rejected a proposal for universal basic income.