CHENNAI: A survey conducted by The New Indian Express indicated significant spatial variation in citizens’ perception of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation programme announced this day last year.
While a significant majority of respondents in Tamil Nadu (63 per cent) and Kerala (59.4 per cent) took a negative view of the initiative overall, there was equally strong support to it in Karnataka (69 per cent), Telangana (54.7 per cent) and Andhra (65.9 per cent).
Consistent with the negative perception of demonetisation overall, respondents in Tamil Nadu and Kerala strongly felt that the twin objectives of the Union government’s decision – curbing black money and tackling corruption – were not achieved in the past one year.
Curiously, however, a significant proportion of respondents in Karnataka, Andhra and Telangana also took the same view regarding the objectives of demonetisation. Viewed separately from the overall support for demonetisation in these three states, there is a strong perception among citizens that the exercise failed to achieve the goals set for it by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Asked which section of the population bore the brunt of difficulties due to demonetisation, respondents across the south said it was the middle class. In all the five states, there was at least 40 per cent perception that the middle class suffered the most due to the sudden withdrawal of `500 and `1,000 notes last year.