The current BJP-led NDA government in general and Prime Minister Narendra Modi in particular has, after a long time, seen an opinion poll where their performance has left a majority of those who participated in the survey dissatisfied. The Modi government in 2020 is getting the worst score on the economic front since it came to power in 2014, reveals the IANS-CVoter Budget Tracker, questioning the job of Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The result of this opinion poll comes barely a fortnight after a survey by the same agencies — news agency IANS and psephological company CVoter — showed that as many as 59.22% of people across India preferred Narendra Modi as the prime minister as compared to former INC president Rahul Gandhi, whose approval rating was merely 25.62%.
As many as 46.4% said that under Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the performance of the union government on the economic front so far had been underwhelming while 31.7% said the performance was better than expected.
This is the worst score for any government since 2010, except in 2013 when Manmohan Singh was the prime minister and P Chidambaram the finance minister. In 2013, 60 per cent respondents said the delivery on the economic front was worse than expected.
There are several expectations of the ordinary citizen in terms of income tax slabs and relaxations from the budget to be presented in the parliament today after the pandemic severely impacted the economy. Experts have recommended that the government should come up with measures to put in more money in the hands of the people to boost demand and support the economy.
The sample size of the IANS-CVoter poll is 4,000 plus. The agencies in collaboration did the fieldwork for the survey in the third and fourth weeks of January 2021. The theme of the survey was “Expectations from the Union Budget”.
Almost three-fourths of the respondents feel that after Narendra Modi became prime minister, inflation remained unchecked and prices have gone up, as per the IANS-CVoter Budget Tracker — much as, in the same duration, the Reserve Bank of India was time and again hailed for successfully keeping inflation under check.
At 72.1, this is the highest percentage in Prime Minister Modi’s tenure who feel this way compared to a low of 17.1% in 2015.
In 2020, only 10.8% of the respondents had said that prices had gone down while 12.8% had said nothing had changed.
Kind attention, Mrs Sitharaman
Over 70% of the respondents felt the impact of high commodity prices in the past year, according to an IANS-CVoter pre-budget survey.
The survey showed that 38.2% of respondents said that the adverse impact on the quality of their lives had been “too much” due to inflation and 34.9% said that their lives had been affected a “little bit”.
However, 26.7% people did not feel any impact of high inflation at all.
For most of 2020, inflation remained at elevated levels, on the back of high food and fuel prices.
Most Indians feel the ordinary citizen’s quality of life deteriorated in the year 2020. Expectedly as the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc on the economy and people’s livelihood, the survey shows that nearly 50% of Indians feel that the quality of life of ordinary citizens deteriorated last year.
About 48.4% of the respondents feel the ordinary citizen’s quality of life has “deteriorated” and 21.3% felt that it has remained the same.
However, 28.8% of the respondents said that their quality of life had improved during the pandemic-hit 2020. A four-member family needs an income of up to Rs 20,000 for an average quality of life, 51.5% of the respondents estimated.
A total of 23.6% respondents said that an income of Rs 20,000-30,000 per month was required for an average quality of life while another 10% feel that Rs 30,000-40,000 was required.
Another 8.6% of people felt the need of up to Rs 50,000-1,00,000 per month for a family of four people.
According to the survey, 81.4% feel that the income required to live an average quality of life should be tax-free while 12.7% of the respondents feel that it should be taxed.
Most Indians facing difficulty in managing their expenses
A majority of Indians are finding it difficult to manage their expenses, showed the IANS-CVoter pre-budget survey.
Around 65.8% respondents in the survey said that current expenses have become difficult to manage, while 30% people said that although expenses have gone up, they are in manageable limits.
A minuscule 2.1% of the respondents said that their expenses have gone down in the past one year and another 2.1% could not respond on the matter.
The survey also showed that with a massive impact of the pandemic on businesses and people’s earnings, purchasing power of most Indians weakened in the past one year.
37% people feel the ordinary citizen’s quality of life to improve this year
As 2020 was largely marred by the pandemic and its impact on people’s income, the IANS-CVoter survey shows that 37.4% respondents feel that the quality of life of the ordinary citizen will improve in the next one year.
Another 21.7% of the respondents felt that the quality of life of the ordinary citizen will remain the same, while 25.8% of the respondents said that the quality of life will deteriorate further in days ahead.
About 15% respondents said that they could not respond on the matter.
According to the Economic Survey 2020-21, which was presented in the Parliament on Friday by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, the GDP of India is likely to contract by 7.7% in Financial Year 21.
It has also anticipated that the Indian economy would grow at over 11% in the next fiscal.
A week after the last IANS-CVoter opinion poll, there was India Today‘s Mood of the Nation poll where almost three-fourths of Indians said that Prime Minister Modi had done a good or outstanding job in handling the pandemic. While 23% of the respondents said Modi’s handling of the pandemic had been outstanding, 50% said it was good. The long and constant positive ratings of Prime Minister Modi and this negative opinion after a long time suggests that the economy is one part where people believe he needs to get his act together.