DeMo has few takers, says survey


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Half of the people who participated in a survey by a group of NGOs felt that demonetisation had not had much impact on wiping out black money or tackling terrorism.

While a little over one-third of the 3,647 respondents spread across 21 states believed that it would only benefit the corporates, close to two-thirds felt it would be difficult for the marginalised and poor to go cashless.

The results of the survey, which is part of a report ’Demonetisation: Exorcising the Demon’ has an "incomplete list" of 90 people who died due to the exercise, were released on Tuesday on the eve of the first anniversary of note ban.

According to the survey by Delhi-based Anhad and 32 other NGOs, 55.4% disagreed with the argument that demonetisation wiped out black money.Only 26.6% felt that it had an effect on black money while around 17.5% did not answer.

It is interesting to note that drivers (83.3%) and rickshaw pullers (69.2%) rejected the proposition that demonetisation will wipe out black money in large numbers, the survey said.

The youth appeared to be more receptive to the government claim that the exercise would have an impact on its fight against black money.

Among the youth, the survey said, 35.2% felt that the announcement by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 8 last year had an effect on black money but as the age of the respondents increased, the percentage dropped consistently.

Number coming down

In the age group of 46 to 55 years, these were as low as 15.5%.

Around 48.2% of the respondents did not believe that it would have any impact on terror attacks while 25% remained non-committal.

The survey showed that 45.4% did not believe that demonetisation has stopped infiltration from Pakistan and that it continues unabated.

However, 32% felt that it has stopped cross-border infiltration.

To a question whether "farmers, labourers, household workers, rickshaw pullers and vegetable hawkers would be able to manage without cash," only 23% responded positively while 68% thought that it would not work.

The survey also said close to 50% of the respondents said they knew of people who lost jobs and marriages postponed.

As many as 44% of the respondents were sceptical and did not think that demonetisation would lead to the betterment of villages.

"The survey conducted post demonetisation to gauge its impact on a cross-section of the people (not a representative sample though) supports the contention that the poor are adversely impacted.

Yet, the elections conducted after this move was announced have shown that the base of the ruling party has not been affected.

The political impact has not followed the economic impact and this disjuncture needs to be understood," Prof Arun Kumar, an expert on black money, said.

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