“Citizen Assessment of 4 Years of Modi Government”


Engaging Citizens for Better Governance

May 14, 2018

At 4 year mark, 57% citizens satisfied with Modi Government’s performance


Key Highlights

  • • 28% feel Government is exceeding expectations, 29% rate it as meeting them while 43 % rate the Government as performing below expectations
  • • Government scores well on improving India’s image globally, handling of Pakistan, fighting terrorism, infrastructure development and reducing tax harassment
  • • Citizens rate the Government low on reducing crime against women and children, generating employment, improving farmers life, lowering cost of living, healthcare
  • • Most performance parameters show a decline over time as the gap between expectations set and impact on daily life rises

Executive Summary

Four years back, the Narendra Modi led NDA surprised pollsters by sweeping the elections with 325 Parliamentary seats and formed the Government. The win followed an aggressive campaign that promised a clean government and improvement across all spheres of life. Modi as a new face with a strong appeal raised the expectation of people that change is possible and the country can see better days. Modi’s mantra - minimize the government and maximize governance. The Modi Government wanted to reduce red tape making it easier to do business in India.

To mark the annual performance and its perception among citizens, LocalCircles conducts a very exhaustive survey to get citizen feedback on how the Central Government has fared. The outcome of this survey gives a picture of the Government’s performance on 23 different areas or parameters. These parameters are based on promises made by the government in its manifesto or issues identified by citizens on LocalCircles’ platform. This year’s survey received more than 1,75,000 votes from approximately 62,000 citizens in 250 districts of India and is the largest exercise of its kind where citizens assess Government performance.

This year, a total of 57% citizens said that the Government has either met or exceeded their expectations in the last 4 years. Around 28% citizens said the Government has exceeded their expectation and this metric has shown a dramatic improvement upwards compared to 17% last year and 18% in 2016. While, only 29% citizens said that the Government meets the expectation and this has fallen from 44% last year and 46% in the year 2016. In 2016, 36% rated the Government as not meeting expectations which rose to 39% in 2017 and in 2018 this number rises to 43%. This means that opinion about Government performance is more polarised now, with both exceed expectation and not meeting expectation percentages going up.

On the 4-year mark, 56% citizens believe the government is on track to deliver the promises made in the pre-election manifesto, which is a slight slide from 59% in the last years’ survey. Typically, the expectations from political establishments or the ruling party among citizens deteriorates very fast. This expectation percentage is similar to the approval ratings for US Presidents and while it is falling every year, it is still in high digits for the Modi Government.

Citizen Assessment of 4 years of Central Government – Summary

Citizen Assessment - Year 2 vs Year 3 vs Year 4

Quality of Life under Modi Government

One of the most important indicator of quality of life is the impact of prices on household budget. While consumer prices indexes give inflation in the economy it is not a good indicator of how household budgets are being affected. Around 60% citizens said that price of essential commodities and cost of living has not reduced. Only 33% citizens believe that the price of essential commodities have come down in last 4 years while at the 3 year junction, it was 28% who believed that prices of commodities have come down. This means that there is some form of price stabilization that has happened after GST and demonetisation both of which had an inflationary component in them.

The presence of fear is a powerful emotion that has a direct bearing on the performance of the Government. If people do not feel safe under a government they are unlikely to elect it again. Around 32% citizens feel that crime against women and children have reduced in the last 4 years while 58% feel it has not reduced. Last year, 60% citizens believed that crime against women and children had not come down, up from 38% a year before that. Cases of rape, kidnap and murder of children are hitting headline on a regular basis. From Bengaluru to Sonipat to Kathua, incidents keep haunting ordinary citizens of the country.

Meanwhile in the area of healthcare, only 32% citizens believe that healthcare facilities and services in their city have improved in the last 4 years whereas 62% said it has not improved. This is an improvement from the 23% citizens at the 3 year mark who had said that healthcare facilities had improved.

In the three year survey, 35% citizens had said that they find their city cleaner due to the Swachh Bharat Mission. This year it has gone up to 43% citizens saying that their city had become cleaner while 51% said Swachh Bharat Mission has had no effect on cleanliness in their city.

Around 65% citizens felt optimistic about their family’s future in India while 27% said they were not very optimistic. This is a slight dip from 69% who felt optimistic last year.

State of the Economy

Equitable development across the country is fundamentally dependent on the state of infrastructure. Citizens were asked if sufficient new infrastructure development (roads, power, irrigation, broadband etc.) has taken place in the last 4 years. Approximately 65% citizens said yes while 29% said no. This percentage has not changed from last year but it has fallen from 72% in the 2-year poll.

When the current Government came into power in 2014, the World Bank annual ease of doing business ratings placed India at the rank of 134. In 2017, the same report placed India at number 100. The report also said that India has implemented reforms in 8 out of 10 'doing business' indicators. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said the Government is determined to further improve the rankings and scale greater economic growth with the mantra of 'reform, perform and transform'. Around 46% citizens believe that doing business in India has become easier in the last 4 years while 39% said it is not the case. This is an improvement from 2017 when the number stood at 36% but a decline from the whopping 60% in 2016.

Around 35% citizens believe that the unemployment rate has reduced in the last 4 years, while 54% say that it has not reduced. Around 63% citizens at year 3 mark had said it had not reduced and 43% in the 2 year survey had said the unemployment rate in the country has not reduced.

Around 54% this year said that harassment by tax officials has reduced to a certain extent, this number is up from 36% in 2017 as well as 2016, showing a marked improvement in the taxation assessment and scrutiny system. Some of this could also be attributed to the fact that the Government took an extra conservative approach on enforcement after demonetisation and GST roll outs.

India is an agricultural economy on the issue of situation of farmers around 47% citizens said that the life of farmers has not improved in the last 4 years while 37% said that there has been an improvement.

In a separate poll, 60% citizens said they have not experienced lower prices or lower monthly costs after the GST rollout, while 37% said they had noticed a price reduction post GST.

Corruption

Around 49% citizens believe that corruption in India has reduced in the last four years while 44% believe it has not reduced. On the same question last year, 47% citizens had said that corruption in the country has reduced.

Communalism, Terrorism and Foreign Affairs

India’s perception among foreigners is very important for Indians, an approval hangover from India’s colonial past. On India’s image and influence in the world and has it improved, 82% said yes while 13% said it has not, this is a slight improvement from the 81% who had voted in a yes last year and a dip from the 90% in 2016.

Citizens were also asked if they approved the way Indian Government has handled the perpetual conflict on our borders and relations with Pakistan in the last 4 years. Around 74% felt it has improved strongly while 24% felt that government’s tactics are not right. The approval of government in handling Pakistan was just 34% in 2016 it went up sharply to 64% after the surgical strikes in 2017. The government has taken some hard steps against Pakistan and the tolerance against terrorism in general.

People were asked if they believed that terrorism and acts of terror against Indians have reduced in the last few years. Around 61% citizens said yes while 35% disagreed with it. 51% citizens last year and 72% in the year before that had said that cases of terrorism in the country had reduced.

When it came to issues of communalism, 50% citizens felt that the government handled them well in the last few years while 45% felt they were not handled well. In 2017, the number of satisfied people stood at 61% and in 2016 it stood at 63%. This aspect shows a slight but continuous downward slide.

Parliament Functioning, MP engagement and VIP culture

Around 40% citizens said that the Government has been able to effectively handle Parliament and deliver on converting legislation needed. But the dissatisfaction with individual MPs is higher as only 18% citizens believe that their elected MP is engaged in addressing the issues of their constituency.

The banning of red beacons was considered to be a major step in reducing VIP culture in India. But if the next poll is to be believed, 51% citizens still feel that the VIP culture has not reduced in India in the last 4 years. 43% said that the VIP culture has reduced. Citizens says that things like VIP entry, VIP quota, VIP area etc. are still very common and more strong steps need to be taken to further decrease VIP culture in India.

On the major Government missions, 58% citizens felt that the most effective scheme of the government in the last few years has been Direct Benefits Transfer and 9% felt it was Make in India. 19% said it was Swachh Bharat while 14% said Jan Dhan Yojana.

Details of the Polls:

Poll 1 – Delivering to Manifesto Promises

In the first poll, citizens were asked if the government was on track to deliver the promises made in its manifesto. 56% said yes, while 40% said no.

Poll 2 – Reduction in Terrorism

Second question asked if they believed that terrorism and acts of terror against Indians have reduced in the last 4 years. 61% said yes while 35% disagreed with it.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Reduction in Terrorism

The year-over-year comparison shows that the percentage of people who think that terrorism and acts of terrorism in India/against Indians have reduced, has gone from 72% to 51% to 61% this year.

Poll 3 – Reduction in Corruption

In the poll on corruption, 49% agreed that corruption in India has reduced in the last 4 years while 44% said it has not reduced.

India is the 81 least corrupt nation out of 175 countries, according to the 2017 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International. It looks like India’s ongoing poor performance with a score of 40 reiterates the state’s inability to effectively deal with petty corruption as well as large-scale corruption scandals.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Reduction in Corruption

The year-over-year comparison shows that the perception of reduced corruption which stood at 61% in 2016, went down to 47% last year and looks to be at 49% this year.

Poll 4 – Reduction in prices of essential commodities and cost of living

Some open source statistics available on the internet show that the inflation rate in India has reduced over the last four years. This includes expenses for groceries, clothes, rent, power, telecommunications, recreational activities, raw materials (e.g. gas, oil), as well as taxes. But looks like the citizens don’t agree with it.

Only 33% citizens in the following poll said that prices of essential commodities and cost of living has reduced in the last 4 years while 60% did not agree to it.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Reduction in cost of living

The year-over-year comparison shows that 60% this year feel that cost of living has not reduced in the last few years. This number was slightly high at 66% last year and at 55% the years before that.

Poll 5 – Reduction in crime against women and children

Case of rapes, sexual harassment, kidnap and murder of children etc. continuously make the headline of the newspapers. From Bengaluru to Sonipat to Kathua, this news keep haunting the living daylight out of the ordinary citizens of the country.

32% citizens feel that crime against women and children have reduced in the last 4 years while 58% feel it has not reduced.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison - Reduction in crime against women and children

The year-over-year comparison shows that the percentage of people who feel that crime against women and children have not reduced in India stood at 43% in 2016, 60% in 2017 and a bit lower at 58% this year.

Poll 6 – Government’s handling of Parliament

On the question if Government has been able to effectively handle Parliament and deliver on key bills in the last 4 years, 40% said yes and 54% said no. In 2016, demonetisation and other issues derailed the entire Winter Session. In the last 17 years, the Parliament worked for an average of 70 days, while in 2017, it worked for only 57 days. The Government was also able to get some key bills cleared, including the Goods & Services Tax (GST) and increasing maternity leave from 12 to 26 weeks.

Poll 7 – Reduction in Unemployment

35% citizens say that the unemployment rate has reduced in the last 4 years while 54% said that it has not reduced.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Reduction in Unemployment

According to a Labour Bureau report, the unemployment rate in India increased from 4.9% in 2013-14 to a 5-year high of 5% in 2015-16. With more than 10 lakh people entering the country’s job market every month, the Government will have to take drastic steps to generate more jobs in the country and reduce the unemployment rate.

The year-over-year comparison shows that this year 35% citizens believed that new jobs were created on a net-basis, which was the same as the number in 2016. This number stood at 21% this year showing some improvement.

Poll 8 – Ease of Doing Business

46% also believe that doing business has become easier in the last 4 years while 39% said that was not the case.

When the current government came into power in 2014, the World Bank annual ease of doing business ratings placed India at the rank of 134. In 2017, the same report placed India at number 100. The report also said that India has implemented reforms in 8 out of 10 'doing business' indicators. This could be accredited to various government moves like one-window clearance system for startups, launch of the Startup India mission and various other moves. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had also said the government is determined to further improve the rankings and scale greater economic growth with the mantra of 'reform, perform and transform'.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Ease of Doing Business

The year-over-year comparison shows that 46% this year feel doing business has become easier, compared to 36% last year and 60% 2 years back.

Poll 9 – Engagement of MPs with constituency

67% citizens said that their elected MP is not engaged in addressing the issues and development of their constituency. Only 18% said that their MP was engaging well.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Engagement of MPs with constituency

The year-over-year comparison shows that MP’s engagement with their constituency has been continuously low standing at 18% in 2016 and 2018, while at 14% in 2017.

Poll 10 – Reduction in harassment by Tax Officials

54% also thought that harassment by tax officials has reduced to a certain extent in the last 4 years while 27% said that was not the case.

Many people have reported that the cases of receiving unnecessary notices have certainly reduced and many services like replying to the first notice have been made online by the department. This has reduced human interaction to a certain level and hence also brought in a reduction in harassment by tax officials.

Poll 11 – India’s image in the world

When asked if India’s image and influence in the world has improved in the last 4 years, 82% said yes and 13% said no.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – India’s image in the world

The year-over-year comparison shows that the perception of improvement of India’s influence and image in the world stood at a similar 82% this year compared to 81% last year. This number was at 90% 2 years back.

Poll 12 – Handling of Pakistan

Citizens were also asked if they approved of the way Government of India has handled Pakistan in the last 4 years. 74% felt strongly for it while 24% felt that government’s tactics were not right.

From making a surgical strike on Pakistan to destroy the terrorist training camps to Modi making an unscheduled visit to Pakistan to meet the then Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and extending a friendly hand, India has handled the Pakistan issue with maturity and the result of the poll is a testimony to that.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Handling of Pakistan

The year-over-year comparison shows that citizens continued to support India’s strong stand against Pakistan in year 3 and year 4 including the surgical strikes in 2016.

Poll 13 – Handling Communalism Issues

When it came to issues of communalism, 50% citizens felt that the government handled them well in the last 4 years while 45% felt they were not handled well. This is an almost even split.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Handling Communalism Issues

The year-over-year comparison shows a decline in citizen’s rating in year 4 survey of how Government has handled issues of communalism.

Poll 14 – Swachh Bharat Mission Impact

43% said their city had become cleaner while 51% said Swachh Bharat Mission has had no effect on cleanliness in their city.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Swachh Bharat Mission Impact

The year-over-year comparison shows that people saying Swachh Bharat Mission has had a positive impact stands at 43% this year, compared to 35% last year and 61% in 2016.

Poll 15 – Effective Government Mission

58% citizens felt that the most effective scheme of the government in the last 4 years has been Direct Benefits Transfer and 9% felt it was Make in India. 19% said it was Swachh Bharat while 14% said Jan Dhan Yojana. Direct Benefits Transfer scheme has made sure that the subsidies reach the one who deserve it. Earlier, majority of these subsidies went into the pockets of middle men, leaving the common man helpless.

Poll 16 – Healthcare Services

Only 32% citizens believe that healthcare facilities and services in their city have improved in the last 4 years whereas 62% said it has not improved.

Many cases like children dying in a UP hospital due to lack of oxygen, women giving birth outside hospitals and helpless patients waiting in the alleys of Government hospitals waiting to be attended by doctors have made headlines through the last few years.

The government is trying to improve the healthcare facilities in India and new National Health Policy in 2017 after almost 15 years, is one such bold move. One of the priorities of this policy is to increase the healthcare expenditure by the government as a percentage of GDP from 1.5% to 2.5% by 2015.

Poll 17 – GST impact on consumer

32% said they have experienced lower prices or lower monthly costs after the GST rollout, while 60% said they had not noticed any price reduction.

GST had brought all sorts of confusions with it both for the businesses as well as the consumers. Many businesses did not reduce the prices of their products even after the GST on their products was reduced by the Government, resulting in the benefits of the reduction not being passed on to the consumers. Businesses have also not been passing on the benefits of input tax credit that they receive, to the consumers. This is one area where timely enforcement action by Government could lead to improvement in consumer perception of GST.

Poll 18 – Optimism about future

65% citizens said they feel optimistic about their family’s future in India while 27% said they were not very optimistic.

India is pegged to be the fastest growing major economy in the world with the projection of around 7.6 percent annual GDP growth in the next two years. With FDI norms being relaxed, startups being promoted and unnecessary government hurdles in running a business being removed, Indian’s will surely be more optimistic than ever before about their and their family’s future in the country.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Optimism about future

The year-over-year comparison shows that people’s optimism level about their and their family’s future in the country stands at 65% this year. It was 69% last year and the highest of 76%in the previous year.

Poll 19 – Life of Farmers

India is considered an agriculture-based economy but the situation of farmers in the country still remains quite poor. 37% citizens in the following poll said that the life of farmers has improved in the last 4 years while 47% said that there has been no improvement and situation is the same

In September 2017, BJP government in Uttar Pradesh waived off more that Rs. 7000 crores worth of farmer loans in the first phase, as a part of the Rs. 32,000 crores scheme announced by the Government.

The centre recently told the Supreme Court that over 12,000 farmers have committed suicide every year since 2013. Government also said that they are approaching this problem in different ways to improve income and social security of farmers so that the number of suicide cases reduce drastically. Maharashtra topped the suicide list, followed by Karnataka and Telangana.

Poll 20 – Reduction in VIP culture

The banning of red beacons was considered to be a major step in reducing VIP culture in India. But if the next poll is to be believed, 51% citizens still feel that the VIP culture has not reduced in India in the last 4 years. 43% said that the VIP culture has reduced. Citizens says that things like VIP entry, VIP quota, VIP area etc. are still very common and more strong steps need to be taken to further decrease VIP culture in India.

Poll 21 – Infrastructure Development

People were also asked if sufficient new infrastructure development (roads, power, irrigation, broadband etc.) has taken place in the last 4 years. 65% replied in a yes while 29% replied in a no.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison

The year-over-year comparison shows that 65% citizen this year and last year felt that there was enough new infrastructure development in the country, while this number stood at 70% in 2016.

When PM Modi came into power he promised that every village in India will have electricity. Last month, when a small village called Leisang in Manipur was connected to the grid, Modi said that this would be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. The pace of construction of highways has also increased in the last few years. The Ministry of Road Transport and Highways said that the average construction reached to around 27 kms per day in the last year.

Poll 22 – Overall Performance

The final poll asked how they rate the overall performance of Central Government performance in the last 4 years. 26% said they exceeded expectations, 32% said they met expectations and 43% said they were below expectation.

2 year vs 3 year vs 4 year comparison – Overall Performance

The year-over-year comparison shows that 57% citizens felt that the government met or exceeded their expectations. This number was at 61% in 2017 and at 64% in 2016, showing a gradual decrease in the citizen satisfaction levels with the Government.

Survey Platform and Demographics

The national survey on four years of Central Government was conducted on LocalCircles, India’s leading citizen engagement platform to gauge the impact and performance of the Central Government. The objective was to understand what’s working and where efforts need to be put in going forward. Over 62,000 unique citizens from over 250 districts participated in the polls and over 170,000 votes were received in the survey thereby making it one of its largest surveys of its kind. Each citizen who voted in the survey is registered with LocalCircles with their detailed information and in many cases shared their exact residential address.

Approximately 69% of respondents were males while 31% were females. Approximately 41% of the respondents were from Tier 1 cities, 28% from Tier 2 cities and 31% from Tier 3 cities and rural locations. The average age of the poll participants was 34 years.

Poll Demographics - Location

Poll Demographics – Gender Breakdown

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About LocalCircles

LocalCircles, India’s leading Community Social Media platform takes Social Media to the next level and makes it about Communities, Governance and Utility. It enables citizens to connect with communities for most aspects of urban daily life like Neighborhood, Constituency, City, Government, Causes, Interests and Needs, seek information/assistance when needed, come together for various initiatives and improve their urban daily life. LocalCircles is free for citizens and always will be!

K Yatish Rajawat- media@localcircles.com, +91-9818311177

All content in this report is a copyright of LocalCircles. Any reproduction or redistribution of the graphics or the data therein requires the LocalCircles logo to be carried along with it. In case any violation is observed LocalCircles reserves the right to take legal action.

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