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Basic income for women could empower economy: Assocham

Author: IANS/Wednesday, March 8, 2017/Categories: National

Basic income for women could empower economy: Assocham

New Delhi, March 8 (IANS) Implementation of a Universal Basic Income (UBI) exclusively for women can bring about significant transformation in the country's socio-economic landscape, an apex industry lobby said.

"While India may not be ready for an all-encompassing UBI, given the country's scale of development where the difference between the rich and poor remains quite wide and it may not be an equitable thing to extend similar benefits across all strata of the economic paradigm, the women-only UBI can be considered favourably,"  Assocham said in a statement.
"If women in the households have money in their accounts, their economic and social status would see a tremendous uplift. In the long run, this would also bring in corrections in the adverse sex ratio as the society would see women as an empowered lot." According to Assocham, a sub-idea for UBI for Women was enunciated in the Economic Survey of 2016-17 along with the broader UBI. 
The statement elaborated that under the UBI, some fixed amount is transferred to the accounts of the beneficiaries irrespective of their economic or social status. "It is premised on the principle that an equitable society should guarantee a minimum income to each individual for access to basic needs," it added.

Revati Jain, Chairperson of the Assocham Women Foundation, said: "The issues of child mortality, infant mortality and even nutrition during pregnancy can be addressed if UBI is extended to women."
"While most of the welfare schemes can be clubbed into the UBI, certain basic schemes focused on pregnancy benefits can continue along with UBI. The industry, can also be, on a voluntary basis, encouraged to extend its helping hand to the women welfare schemes," Jain added.

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S Vijaykrishnan
S Vijaykrishnan


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