The state has started the process to introduce the unconditional direct cash transfer scheme. Sikkim’s ruling party, the Sikkim Democratic Front (SDF), has decided to include UBI in its manifesto ahead of the Assembly election in 2019 and aims to implement the scheme by 2022.
The 2017 Economic Survey had flagged the UBI scheme as ‘a conceptually appealing idea’ and a possible alternative to social welfare programmes targeted at reducing poverty.
According to an official source, ‘our party and Chief Minister Pawan Chamling, who is the longest serving Chief Minister, are committed to bringing in Universal Basic Income. This, we will do three years of coming back to power in the state. UBI is a scheme that a number of economists have talked about and it works well in developing countries. It has been tested even in India, debated within the Finance Ministry as early as 2017’.