Demonetisation: Are the poor really suffering?
Politicians advocating the difficulties faced by the poor are being disingenuous in pushing their claims for political gains
In the political battle that has emerged out of the demonetisation exercise, both proponents and opponents are ostensibly defending the interests of the poor. Some politicians are relying on anecdotal evidence to advocate the difficulties being faced by the common man. We instead use data from the National Sample Survey Organization’s (NSSO) survey to estimate such difficulties faced by the poor. The survey provides estimates of earnings in cash and kind by different income categories. We use the survey data for 2011 which comprised approximately 500,000 individuals across the country. Our estimates suggest that the poor are likely to have visited a bank branch at most once to exchange their earnings in the old currency notes to new currency notes. Thus, we infer that the politicians advocating the difficulties faced by the poor are being disingenuous in pushing their claims for political gains.
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