Hamro Sikkim Party (HSP) has announced to launch Sikkim Universal Basic Income Scheme, titled Sikkimey Samman Yojna, for every Sikkimese if voted to power in the ensuing Assembly elections in the State.
HSP working president, Bhaichung Bhutia on Tuesday informed to launch this scheme within 25 days of the swearing-in of the government.
Addressing a press conference in Gangtok on Tuesday evening, he mentioned that this was one of unique and major programmes of the party from its election manifesto. He informed that as per the scheme Rs 18,000 per annum or Rs 1,500 per month will be paid to every Sikkimese.
He added that a family of five will get Rs 90,000 per annum or Rs 7, 500 per month. He mentioned that this amount will be progressively increased, based on cost of living index.
Bhaichung expressed that the things that the SDF government could not do in 25 years, will be done in 25 days by HSP government by launching the scheme within 25 days of taking oath.
He added that payments under SSY shall commence within 90 days of launch. He added that transfers shall be made on first day of every month through bank accounts.
“Funds for SSY shall be provided through budgetary allocation. Based on 2019 population of Sikkim at 652,862 (projected) and factoring the exclusions, this is likely to be Rs 900 crores per annum, which is 4.04 per cent of Rs. 22,247 Cr GSDP for 2017-18 and 12.76 per cent of Rs 7051 Cr Plan Budget of Sikkim for 2018-19,” he said.
Bhaichung clarified that small and specific categories like state and central government upper grade staffs and officers, MPs, MLAs and high earning professionals shall be excluded from the scheme but low earning government permanent employees and all ad-hoc employees/scheme workers shall get full benefit of SSY.
HSP president Dr Bina Basnett stated that HSP was a very young party born to represent and empower the working class and poor people of Sikkim.
“It is contesting elections to the Sikkim Assembly for the first time, to usher in on mission mode a revolution of universal rights that will give new direction to the social, economic and political life of the people of Sikkim,” he said.
She added that following the same, the party has nominated a large number of low income working class people like drivers, mechanics, farmers and unemployed youth as candidates for this election.
Dr Basnett mentioned that SSY shall be drafted in consultation with some of the most renowned economists of the world, taking care of every aspect of its implementation. She added that the scheme was neither a gift nor an electoral sop or largesse but it was simply redistribution of Sikkim’s wealth for welfare of all Sikkimese and a major step to eradicate poverty from Sikkim.