Nearly Half think FM Nirmala will announce Cash Transfer/ Tax Cuts Today

A new survey by Azim Premji University amongst workers found that 49 % of worker households cannot pay for even a week’s of essentials.

The Survey also found the following

  • Average weekly earnings for non-agricultural self-employed workers who were still employed fell by over 90 per cent from Rs 2,240 to Rs 218.
  • For casual workers who were still employed, average weekly earnings almost halved from Rs 940 in February to Rs 495 during lockdown, the survey noted. 
  • Half of all salaried workers, or 51 per cent, saw either a cut in their salary or received no salary.

In this context, in our own national survey (amongst middle class voters) carried out yesterday to predict FM Nirmala’s response today, the % of people who think the Finance Minister will give a cash transfer or a tax cut has gone up significantly. Two days ago, only 39% expected such an announcement from the Government. This has increased to 48% today. The survey result does not mean the middle class may get the benefit. It means that the most deserving groups may get such a benefit.

With most of the reform measures announced (which do not involve large Govt spends), the final press conference scheduled at 11 am today may be big on expenditure. Given the status of workers as found by the Azim Premji University, unless there is more cash in the hands of Indians, no amount of supply reform will improve demand. It needs to be seen if FM Nirmala is listening.