OVER 86% OF URBAN INDIA AGREES WITH THE LOCKDOWN: STUDY

  • New survey by Institute for Competitiveness shows the impact of COVID-19 on citizens and businesses
  • Indian citizens rate government efforts on COVID-19 close to an average of 7 out of 10
  • 92 out of 145 businesses surveyed said they are planning a hiring freeze 

THERE is substantial support for the efforts of the Indian government in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic. This according to a new survey conducted by Institute for Competitiveness, a Harvard Business School-affiliated think-tank, of over 500 citizens and around 150 businesses. The survey was conducted across Indian cities to assess the impact of the pandemic and lockdown on Indian citizens and businesses and to inform India’s response to the crisis. A report on the findings from the survey, The COVID-19 India Impact Survey Report, has been released today.

Majority of Indian citizens satisfied with government response on COVID-19 but feel health infrastructure is inadequate 

The survey shows that a majority of the people trust the efforts of the government at both the center and the states. Indian citizens across cities rated the central government 6.9 and the state government 6.8 out of 10, on an average. The trust in government also increased with age with those above 65 giving an average rating of 8.5. Over 86% of them were also in agreement with the government decision of a complete lockdown.

However, merely 14 percent of respondents feel that India’s healthcare infrastructure is satisfactory to handle the crisis. 

More than half of the respondents feel that their monthly income will be impacted in the future 

A majority of respondents from urban India were not optimistic on their employment prospects in the future. Over half of them felt that their monthly incomes might reduce and around 10 percent feared job losses. Also, the age group from 25-34 expected to have the most job losses, which implies people entering the job markets in India have the most dismal view on employment prospects.

Majority of businesses have witnessed reduced cashflow and delayed projects and foresee a hiring freeze

Businesses have been severely affected due to the COVID-19 crisis. Almost 70 percent of businesses reported having a reduced cashflow and over 55 percent experienced project delays. As a result, 92 out of 145 businesses surveyed said that they are planning to impose a hiring freeze in the coming months. 

Businesses feel optimistic about business recovery in general but medium-scale firms less so

It is a positive sign for the economy that around 70 percent of the businesses feel that they would recover from the crisis in a year or less. However, these results vary by the size of the business. The medium scale businesses mostly feel that it would take more than one-and-a-half year for recovery. 

Efforts of central government and central bank inadequate in reviving economic activity feel firms

On an average, businesses rated the government efforts to stimulate the economy 2.3 out of 5 and the RBI efforts in maintaining economic stability to be 2.5 out of 5. The smaller businesses were more unhappy with the efforts on an average. Thus, businesses are less enthusiastic about state efforts in response to the pandemic than citizens across the country. 

The report was released by Institute for Competitiveness on April 17, 2020.

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© 2020 Institute for Competitiveness, India

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