Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “surgical strike” on black money might inconvenience people for some time, but he seems to have their support.
Nearly 80% of people had backed a move to replace Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to deal a blow to the black economy and corruption, a citizen engagement platform said on Wednesday.
The survey by LocalCircles was conducted over the last 10 days and was due for release. But the PM beat them to it.
On Tuesday evening, Modi declared in a special address to the people that the currency notes of these two denominations were being put out of circulation to break the grip of corruption, black money and terror funding.
LocalCircles, in a statement, said it conducted a poll to assess support for changing colour of the Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes to drastically reduce accumulated black money in the country after repeated suggestions from citizens.
As much as 78% citizens of the 11,000 respondents to the poll supported the scheme, while 15% were unsure and 7% did not support the change.
An earlier survey on corruption — where 42% people conceded they had paid a bribe — had indicated “a large part of bribes is paid in cash”, K Yatish Rajawat, Chief Strategy Officer, LocalCircles told HT.
Rajawat said the government’s move will make bribery difficult, and painful in the short term. A fresh version of currency notes of Rs 500 and Rs 2,000 denomination will be circulated from Thursday.
In the online discussions that followed, people suggested that the decision to replace the high-value denomination notes should be executed without a warning, and the government should keep track of people who exchange large amount of currency notes.
In his address on Tuesday, Modi had acknowledged that the decision would inconvenience people in the short run but asked them to bear with the pain for the larger good. Just a day earlier, the PM had extensively spoken how people would not mind a bit of an inconvenience if they were assured that it really was in public interest.