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75% Indians want Union Budget to Address Inflation: Ipsos

Indian citizen have put forth their wish list for the finance minister, just days before the Union Budget 2016 - 2017 is to be unveiled through a new survey by Ipsos Public Affairs.

75% respondents would like prices of essential commodities to come down; 27% have voted for more exemption in income tax; 26% would like cigarettes and bidis to be taxed more; 22% want tax increase on diesel vehicles; 18% want cars to be cheaper; 15% want lowering of interest rates on home loans; and 13% want further increase in tax saving under Sec 80C – the wish list for most was more than one.  

Interestingly, there was no clear view on whether the Budget would be a populist one – some respondents were optimistic, some pessimistic and some were undecided.

Amit Adarkar, Managing Director - India, Ipsos is not surprised that the common man wants inflation to be addressed by finance minister in the forthcoming union budget, “The common man is feeling the pinch due to soaring prices and also as the cost of living has gone up. People are looking for some reprieve, in terms of exemption in income tax, lowering of interest rates of home loans, more savings under Sec 80C, which will provide them with the much needed succor and give more money in the hands of the consumer reeling under pressures of costly living conditions.”           

“Indians are not expecting a populist budget, but expects Finance Minister to ease life by providing some sops and exemptions which will give them some disposable income” added Adarkar.

Ipsos survey named unemployment and lack of jobs (29%) as the most glaring issue facing India.

Other grave issues named were: corruption and scams (16%); safety of women (12%); poverty and social inequality (10%); rising crime and violence (7%); inflation (6%); rising taxes (4%); security in public places (3%); economic slowdown (3%); cleanliness (2%); lack of access to subsidized healthcare (2%); extremism and terror attacks (2%); and threats against the environment and climate change (2%).

Political environment and state of politics (1%), lack of access to basic education in rural areas (1%), moral decline (1%) were voted the least concerning issues and emerged at the bottom of the heap.

Whereas rise of hardliners; intolerance and lack of ease of credit were not an area of concern for the respondents polled.

Adarkar further said, “Wish list is one thing. What is alarming is the magnitude of challenges the nation is facing today. The common man has named unemployment and lack of jobs as the biggest challenge facing the nation. While the government is working on long term job creation initiatives like Smart Cities and Make in India; in the short term too more schemes and initiatives need to be introduced – Skill India is a laudatory initiative by government to provide short term course based skills for employment.”

The survey was conducted in the February 2016 covering a sample size of 1047 in the eight cities - Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Lucknow and Ahmedabad. Respondents polled were from SEC A, B & C households. Men and women polled were in the ratio of 50:50. Data was weighted and the margin of error is +/- 4% with 95% accuracy levels.

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