A majority of people across income groups feel inflation, especially with regard to essential items, in the last one year had an adverse impact on their quality of life, dampening their mood before the Union Budget to be tabled on Friday, with less than one in three people believing the Congressled United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government’s economic policies were actually sympathetic to the common man.
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A pre-budget survey conducted by CVoter (Centre for Voting Opinion and Trends in Election Research), which ranks Pranab Mukherjee as the most popular finance minister, particularly among the upper income groups, reflects that people seem less optimistic about the economic conditions and the UPA government’s budget delivery making any impact on their lives in the next year as opposed to the relative pre-budget euphoria last year.
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Only 28% of the respondents believe the quality of life of the common man would improve in the next one year, with a significant majority across all income groups seeking enhanced allocation for areas such as education, employment , health, and even defence, in the coming Budget.
In a significant surprise, one in two people—mostly in the low and middle income segments—seem willing to pay more user charges if the government promises better roads and infrastructure.
Fewer than one in five respondents were satisfied with how the government was utilizing their tax money and the same proportion felt the team of Manmohan Singh, P. Chidambaram and, now, Pranab Mukherjee had delivered on the budget front so far.
Graphics by Paras Jain/Mint