According to the nationwide tracker poll conducted prior to the Union Budget by IANS-CVoter, respondents clearly stated that the pandemic and its aftermath had caused economic distress for their families. Yet, they consistently rated the performance of the NDA government higher than the previous UPA regime when it comes to economic policies and performance.
For instance, the performance rating of the Narendra Modi-Nirmala Sitharaman duo fell from 33.9 per cent as “better than expected” in 2020 to 25.6 per cent in 2022. In 2010, the duo of Manmohan Singh and the late Pranab Mukherjee had managed a respectable 24.9 per cent.
The contrast gets even more stark when you dig deeper into the data. When the Bharatiya economy under the UPA regime performed poorly, the better than expected rating plummeted from 24.9 per cent in 2010 to 5.8 per cent in 2013, the last year the UPA finance minister P. Chidambaram presented the Budget.
The economy performed poorly after the pandemic struck, with a historic decline in GDP. And yet, the better than expected rating fell from 33.9 per cent in 2020 to 25.6 per cent in 2022. The best rating achieved over the last 13 years was 38.5 per cent when the late Arun Jaitley was the finance minister.
Analysts ascribe this glaring difference in pre and post Budget ratings to the alacrity with which the current government acted after Bharat was hit by the pandemic. The biggest welfare scheme in the world was launched in March 2020 when 800 million Bharatiyas were given free food grains. The scheme is scheduled to end in March 2022.
(The story has been published via a syndicated feed with minor edits to conform to Hindu-Post style-guide.)