At least 50% believe #DeMo did not change much

Half of the people who participated in a survey by a group of NGOs felt that demonetisation had not much impact on wiping out blackmoney or tackling terrorism.

While a little over one-third of the 3,647 respondents spread across 21 states believed that it would only benefit the corporate, close to two-third respondents felt it would be difficult for the marginalised and poor to go cash-less.

demonetisation1

The results of the survey, which were part of a report ‘Demonetisation: Exorcising the Demon’ that has an “incomplete list” of 90 people who died due to the exercise, were released on Tuesday on the eve of first anniversary of the announcement to de-legitimise then existing Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes.

According to the survey by Delhi-based Anhad and 32 other NGOs, 55.4% disagreed with the argument that demonetisation wiped out blackmoney. Only 26.6% felt that it had an effect on blackmoney while around 17.5% did not answer the question.

It is interesting to note that Drivers (83.3%) and rickshaw pullers (69.2%) rejected the preposition that demonetisation will wipe out blackmoney in large numbers, the survey said.

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Most affected
Common man — 64.8
Politician — 14.8
Rich people — 15.4
Don’t know — 4.7

Know someone who lost job
Yes — 50
No — 49.4

Workers, rickshaw pullers, vegetable vendors can operate without currency
Correct — 22.8
Incorrect — 68.5
Don’t know — 8.1

Will be free from corruption
Correct — 39.3
Incorrect — 46.9
Don’t know — 13.4

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Youths appeared to be more receptive to the government claim that the exercise would have an impact on its fight against blackmoney.

Among the youth, the survey said, 35.2% felt that the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year had an effect on blackmoney but as the age of the respondents increased, the percentage dropped consistently. In the age group of 46 to 55 years, these were as low as 15.5%.

Around 48.2% of the respondents did not believe that it would have any impact on terror attacks while 25% remained non-committal. The survey showed that 45.4% did not believe that demonetisation has stopped infiltration from Pakistan and that it continues unabated. However, 32% felt that it has stopped cross-border infiltration.

To a question whether ‘farmers, labourers, household workers, rickshaw pullers and vegetable hawkers would be able to manage without cash’, only 23% responded positively while 68% thought that it would not work.

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To eradicate black money forever
Correct — 26.6
Incorrect — 55.4
Don’t know — 17.5

Will wipe out terrorism
Correct — 26.3
Incorrect — 48.2
Don’t know — 25.3

Stopped Pakistani infiltration.
Correct — 32.2
Incorrect — 45.4
Don’t know — 22

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The survey also said close to 50% of the respondents said they knew of people who lost jobs and marriages postponed. More than 60% felt that demonetisation had any impact on farmers while 44% were sceptical and did not think that demonetisation would lead to betterment of villages.

“The survey conducted post demonetisation to gauge its impact on a cross section of the people (not a representative sample though) supports the contention that the poor are adversely impacted. Yet, the elections conducted after this move was announced have shown that the base of the ruling party has not been affected. The political impact has not followed the economic impact and this disjuncture needs to be understood,” Prof Arun Kumar, an expert on blackmoney, said.

(An edited version appeared in Deccan Herald on Nov 8, 2017)

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