Universal Basic Income (UBI) could be an important tool for eradicating poverty and achieving the SDGs

Universal Basic Income (UBI) could be an important tool for eradicating poverty and achieving the SDGs

UNESCAP-led Symposium on Income Security for Older Persons in South Asia tackles topical issue of UBI, guards against tokenism in providing income security for older persons

While the debate about the feasibility of a Universal Basic Income is gaining ground in India, after the Economic Survey 2017-18 released by the Government devoted a full chapter to it, the issue also featured prominently at a meeting organized by ESCAP and the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy (NIPFP) on 27 February 2017 in New Delhi.
The Symposium on Old-Age Income Security and Universal Basic Income in South Asia provided a platform for key stakeholders in the subregion to review policy options to improve coverage, benefits levels and gender responsiveness of pensions, and ensure their sustainability. In light of the fiscal space, prevailing systems’ current levels of coverage, which benefit only about 12 per cent of the people in the working age in the subregion, despite well recognized benefits of pension schemes on families’ welfare, the Symposium concluded that countries such as India should pursue universal pensions as a starting point for more ambitious UBI schemes. Alternatively, a UBI targeting women could also be considered, participants agreed.
The Symposium brought together policy makers, pension experts and representatives from academia and the civil society from five countries in South Asia. It reviewed ongoing experiments on UBI schemes in India and around the world as well as good practices on pensions in South Asia. Mr. Hemant Contractor, Chairman, Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority, India, delivered the keynote address at the event.
For more information, please visit: http://www.unescap.org/events/symposium-income-security-older-persons-so...