Middle class not thrilled, but optimistic: Post-Budget survey

New Delhi (IANS) While being hailed as pro-farmer, the Union Budget 2020 presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Saturday has failed to capture the imagination of the middle class, findings of the IANS-CVoter post-budget poll indicate.

The poll compiled people's responses to a series of questions aimed at measuring popular perception about the Union Budget in the context of issues such as the economy and employment.

Yashwant Deshmukh of CVoter told IANS: "People are fearing that monthly expenses are going to go up. Less of savings, more of expenses. More or less, people are satisfied."

Net approvals ranged from a low of 10.7 on the budget's ability to boost employment in the country, to a high of 44.1 on the pro-farmer initiatives undertaken in the budget.

The net rating for sentiment on improving the economy hovered at 31.8 per cent.

Interestingly, the budget was perceived as pro-poor by 27.5 per cent, pro-capitalist by 24.9, and pro-middle class by 20.1 per cent of respondents.

The poll results show that the government's social welfare initiatives in the form of several schemes are gaining traction with the lowest net approval ratings measured at 34.5 per cent for the government's plan to operate 150 private trains.

The government's plans to eradicate tuberculosis (TB) from the country by the year 2030 received the highest net approval ratings of 79.9 per cent.

The respondents were posed queries on 13 social welfare schemes that focus upon water supply to homes, establishment of hospitals in district headquarters in private-public mode, FDI in education, solar pump schemes for farmers, increase in income tax exemption limits etc.

The survey, conducted on Saturday immediately after the budget presentation by Sitharaman concluded, had a sample size of 1,200 respondents from all demographies.

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