Will FM Nirmala announce big package for Middle Class today?
Middle Class Voted BJP Overwhelmingly
In India, the graduate population is anywhere between 100 to 125 million people. In 2019 election, an estimated 50-60 million of these graduates voted for NDA compared to around 25 million for the UPA. Therefore BJP has a huge advantage amongst these voters.
PM’s 20 lakh crore AtmaNirbhar Bharat Yojana was Welcomed by all
The PM’s 20 lakh crores programme a few days ago was welcomed by the many of these middle class Voters. While economy is one of many reasons why these voters vote for BJP, in the current COVID-19 crisis, this has increased in Importance. In fact, even before COVID-19 crisis, unemployment in the 20-24 age group graduates was as high as 60%. This is due to the economic slowdown that began in early 2018. Post-COVID around 27 million youth have lost jobs, many of them being graduates. Even if they have jobs, they have been impacted by Salary Cuts, Furloughs, Delay in Joining Dates etc. Therefore the fear is real.
Initial Announcements are Important but not directly Relevant
Till now, the Government’s initiatives have been focussed on MSMEs and the weaker sections of the society. While these are good, the biggest consumption class that will drive the economy are these top 125 million graduates and their families. While some of them will gain through MSME support, bulk of them are still waiting for Government support as they too have suffered during COVID and even before that.
Right now expectation levels from Govt are quite low
When we asked in a survey as to what % of them thought that there would be direct support from the Govt in the form of Tax Cuts or Cash Transfers (Like USA for example), in our sample survey, Just 21% mentioned that they were expecting a Tax Cut and Just 17.7% were expecting a Cash Transfer. And this is not just for them but for anybody in the population, that is quite a low bar.
Looking at the Government’s announcements so far, the Govt still has some 3-4 lakh crores of announcements pending. So may be a big announcement can be expected today or tomorrow. Indian Middle Class Waits!