Despite inconvenience and pain, support for government's currency demonetisation increases

New Delhi [India], Nov.17 : Despite significant inconveniences, pain and loss of productivity, support for the Government's demonetization program has increased during the last week. A portion of the citizens who were unsure of such a demoentization program earlier and the ones who did not support it are now lending support to the program. In a related survey, 44 percent of the same citizens outlined that they found the ATMs non-functional, yet most are in support of this scheme by the Government of India and feel that long term benefits will outweigh the short term pain.

LocalCircles, the citizen engagement platform was the one that ran the poll on currency demonetization from Oct 31st-Nov 8th . 78% citizens had indicated they supported the discontinuation and color change of 500 and 1000 rupee notes in this poll. The Prime Minister announced the demonetisation scheme on Nov 8th via an address to the nation.

In a follow on poll conducted by LocalCircles after a week, on Nov 15th, 79% citizens are still in fulll support of the currency demonetization program despite the inconveniences its causing.

Another 18% said that while they support it, it is causing pain to them. The remaining 3% citizens do not suppport the program. The survey was conducted amongst 10,000 citizens from across 200 cities of India. 68% of the participants were male while 32% of them were females. On Nov 14th, in a different survey conducted on the platform, 44% of the same citizens said that ATMs were non-functional in their area.

The survey was also done seperately in 13 states of India in the online local communities that LocalCircles has there. More than 80% citizens in states like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, West Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Telangana are offering unconditional support to the demonetization program, whereas over 25% of the citizens in states like Uttarakhand, Goa and Odisha are saying that they are supportive of the program but are experiencing pain and incovenience.

ATM Experience Poll Conducted Nov 14, 2016

Post the survey on functioning of ATMs where 44% citizens highlighted that they found the ATMs non-functional, LocalCircles also asked what should be done to improve availability of cash. Citizens gave a variety of inputs listed below:

1. Bankers who have retired in the last 5 years could also be roped in to augment staff at bank branches

2. Steps should be taken to double efficiency of post offices including deploying GOI's NIC staff

3. Post offices should also increase the number of tellers by bringing the recently retired back

4. More awareness should be created that currency can be exchanged at post offices

5. Banks could tie up with companies like Uber/OLA to use their cars with security to deliver cash at home in amounts between 10,000 and 20,000 neighbourhoods where the request can be submitted online

6. Banks should make sure that the ATMs work 24 hours a day and are refilled several times during the day

7. Banks could issue online token to their customers and tell them a time an ATM location where they could reach and withdraw money. This would reduce unnecessary wastage of time by standing in long queues

8. Deployment of as many available central Government employees across India with interfaces to use the Unified Payment Interface of banks to transfer money (ANI)