In a recent study conducted by an NGO shows that public want next Government to create jobs, improve air quality, boost ‘Foreign Direct Investment’ (FDI), expansion of road and highways infrastructure and simplifying ‘Goods and Services Tax’ (GST).
The survey received more than 100,000 responses from over 37,000 citizens located in 260+ districts of India.
Citizen’s Manifesto for 2019 compiled by the “LocalCircles” a non-Governmental organisation showed what citizens of India want from the next Government that will assume charge after results are declared on May 23.
Respondents highlighted the issue of unemployment in India has emerged to be a huge social and political issue. “The job market has been sluggish, and many people have struggled to find jobs. Cases of well qualified people are taking up petty jobs to meet the needs of their families is quite common,” it said.
When asked what the next Government’s primary model should be to address the issue of employment in India, 60 per cent of respondents said it should reduce bureaucratic inefficiencies and corruption for ease of doing business and 16 per cent said it should attract significant FDI & domestic investment through business-friendly policies. While 12 per cent said the Government should provide massive incentives to startups, while another 12per cent favoured a boost in public and private investment in infrastructure.
The study clearly shows that if bottlenecks and corruption in doing business reduced, it will lead to more investments and in turn create jobs.
Majority of the people wanted next Government to focus on reducing bureaucratic inefficiencies and corruption for business as a solution to creating jobs.
The unemployment rate in India is in the 6-7.5 per cent range as per multiple surveys.
In the next poll, 38 per cent citizens said that the next government should aim to bring it down to 4.5 per cent in the next five years, it said.
Since 2014, amount of foreign investment in India started climbing rapidly and many companies and countries promised to invest millions to billions of dollars into businesses in India but in the last few quarters, the inflow of FDI has reduced, probably owing to the uncertainties revolving around the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, it said.
The study also revealed that majority of the people want that the next government should take a five year FDI target of at least $450 billion $. When asked about what the realistic five-year FDI should be. In response, 19 per cent said $300 billion, 18 per cent said $ 600 billion, while 22 per cent respondents said more than 600 billion US Dollars.
While 41 per cent said it should be $450 billion. To reach this level, the average yearly FDI inflow will have to increase from around $52 billion to around $90 billion approximately.
Introduction of GST has been a transformational change. It clubbed together more than 15 different taxes and brought them under the ambit of just one tax - the GST but the four GST slabs have also brought some confusion with them for the general public but overall, the side effects seem to be settling down now, it said.
When asked how the Government should rationalise the GST, 53 per cent respondents pitched for “two rate GST structure with one rate of 5 per cent and another of 18 per cent”.
While 35 per cent said it should be left as it is with four tax slabs of 5, 12, 18 and 28 per cent. Seven per cent of respondent wanted one rate of 18 per cent and sin/luxury product rate at 28 per cent, while five per cent voted for one flat rate of 18per cent.
Most of the people said that they want the next Government to focus on infrastructure development. 42 per cent people said the priority of the next government should be expansion of road and highways infrastructure and 29 per cent wanted the 100 smart cities to be made a reality.
While 15 per cent talked about expansion of air and rail connectivity while 14 per cent favoured the telecom (voice and data) infrastructure to be significantly improved.