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Indian politics needs to be matured to implement UBI, says Arun Jaitley

BT Online     February 2, 2017

Just before some time from the elections in five states, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended his move in Budget 2017-18 over political funding. Jaitley said, "The cash limit of above Rs 2,000 for political funding is on recommendation of the Election Commission, which is a credible institution".

Stressing the need for greater transparency in political funding, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Wednesday said the maximum amount of cash donation by an individual to a political party could be Rs 2,000 -- a sharp drop from the Rs 20,000 amount in cash earlier.

Presenting the Union Budget for 2017-18, Jaitley said political parties can take donations from donors through cheque and digital payments.

He also gave a stern warning and said, "If someone misuses the Rs 2,000 upper limit for political funding, then the act will have its consequences".


Commenting over the idea of Universal Basic Income, he said, "It's a wonderful idea. But first, Indian politics needs to reach at a mature level to implement it."


The Finance Minister also appreciated the Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramanian, for his UBI suggestion in the Economic Survey.



He said,"To implement Universal Basic Income, Political Parties must appreciate that it's better alternative for poverty elimination".


"We have mostly an unstructured and untargeted subsidy regime in India. Many subsidies like  fertiliser are used more by the rich people. So it is better to select 30-35% most vulnerable persons and give a cheque in their hand to lift them out of poverty", the Finance Minister said.


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