NEW DELHI — A post-budget poll has suggested that the Union Budget was met with approval by the common public. The poll, conducted between February 28 and March 2 by research group CVoter, interviewed 3,039 people across all demographics.
Almost half (46.3 percent) of the respondents did not think that inflation would come down after the union budget announced by the NDA government, while two-thirds believed that the overall quality of their life has improved or remained the same in the past one year. However, an overwhelming majority (53.9 percent) believed this would change for the better over the next year.
This is despite the fact that almost two thirds of the people (62.6 percent) though that their monthly expenses will be pushed up after this budget. Opinion was sharply divided on the budget, with 47.1 percent saying they were satisfied with the budget and a marginally lower number dissatisfied with it. This was a similar pattern across income groups.
Respondents were also split between how manageable their expenses would become following their daily increase in expenditure. Interestingly, most people were of the opinion that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had delivered on the budget front just as expected.
Most people were satisfied with anti-Black money provisions in the budget, with the Finance Minister spelling out several stringent regulations to rein in violators.
Most of the FM's schemes in this budget — from insurance and pension benefits to development-related assistance — were all met with thumping approval.
These included Pradhanmantri Jiwan Jyoti Yojana, PM Suraksha Bima Yojana, Atal Pension Yojana, AIIMS-style hospitals in four states, an extra Rs 1000 crore for the Nirbhaya Program, the Namami Gangey project, deduction of corporate tax, Pradhanmantri MUDRA (Micro Units Development Refinance Agency), Pradhanmantri Gram Sinchai Yojana, monetary assistance for farmers, and increase in tax on cigarettes and pan masala.
However, the plan to increase service tax from 12.36 percent to 14 percent proved really unpopular, with 40.5 percent claiming it was a poor decision. Predictably, those from higher income groups were the most vocal about their dissatisfaction with this.
A separate big data analysis by Crisil showed that the sentiment about the budget on social media was 63.6% positive. The survey analysed 1.89 lakh comments on Twitter, Facebook, blogs and web comments.