ISLAMABAD: A fresh survey says that people in Pakistan are losing trust in the government about their future with majority saying that the government is heading towards the wrong direction.
The ‘Perception, Performance’ quarterly survey conducted by Pulse Consultants for Geo in January 2020 says that price hike and unemployment are the major issues faced by the people.
In previous survey almost half of respondents (49%) reported that year 2019 was positive for them and their families, whereas more than one third (37%) reported negatively as compared to 2018 – 14% reported – same as 2018 and just 2% didn’t give any response.
When same question was asked in fresh survey (2020) – 39% of the respondents were optimistic, 28% were pessimistic and 8% not looking any change from 2019. But interestingly 25% didn’t give any answer which shows they are doubtful.
Almost everyone (99%) is effected from price hike. Majority (61%) of the respondents believe that economically country is heading towards wrong direction. In January 2020 inflation was ranked as the gravest issue by 44% of the respondents, which is 18% more from April 2019 i.e. 26%. As many as 28 % said unemployment is the major issue; this percentage is 8% more than it was in 2019 i.e. 20%.
On overall basis almost one third of the respondents (29%) claimed that their current monthly income meets their expenses. This phenomenon has been reported when respondents from higher socio-economic classes were engaged.
However, when asked about savings, more than 70% respondents reported that they failed to save any money. Whereas majority (71%) reported that they are unable to meet the monthly expenses, and to manage the both ends meet they do the following: 37% borrow money (people from lower strata of society), 35% do part time job – this phenomenon prevails in all classes, while 27% reduced their expenses - this happens in higher socio-economic classes.
The survey also suggest that the government was losing it support in its narrative against opposition, improvement claims and policies. Compared to November 2018 (54%) there is a depreciation of confidence on Prime Minister Imran Khan about ‘decline in corruption’. In January 2020, only 25% opined that ‘corruption’ has declined.
First time in last one year– respondents are not buying the government’s narrative of blaming previous regimes about current economic challenges. In October 2019 more than half (58%) of the respondents supported the PTI-led government narrative. Presently, that support reduced to 38%, a loss of 20%.
A majority people (77%) have the opinion that government failed to bring back the looted money from abroad. Satisfaction also declined on government’s policies on Kashmir issue as well – In October 61% respondents were satisfied with government’s stand – now 53% are dissatisfied.
Almost 6 among 10 respondents (57%) are not satisfied with Prime Minister Imran Khan’s overall performance. In comparison with the last survey conducted in October 2019 (Just after Imran’s speech at the UN over Kashmir) dissatisfaction increased by 19% (from 38% to 57%), whereas in January 2020 survey satisfaction; dropped by 24% (from 49% to 25%).
In January 2020 the Usman Buzdar-led government in Punjab severely lost the satisfaction level by 18% (from 39% to 21%). Whereas dissatisfaction increased by 19% - from 42% (October 2019) to 61%.
In KP 33% respondents said they were satisfied with the provincial government’s performance; this percentage is 11% more from the previous year’s survey i.e. 44%. Dissatisfaction level of KP people on Mahmood Khan’s government increased by 18% (from 29% to 47).
The declining trend of dissatisfaction with the Syed Murad Ali Shah-led Sindh government continues with the increase of 12% (54% to 66%), whereas there is decline in satisfaction of by 9% (27% to 18%).
With the increase of 11%, dissatisfaction with Jam Kamal’s Balochistan government is at 66%. However, there is sharp decline of 26% in satisfaction – from 34% to just 08% — highest in any province.
According to the survey, the dissatisfaction level with performance of four major ministries is increasing. A majority of 46% is not satisfied with the performance of Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while 27 percent are satisfied. 55% are not pleased with the performance of Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid Ahmad and 22% are satisfied. 54% are not content with Advisor on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh’s performance, while 18% say he is doing well. Dissatisfaction level at Information Minister Firdous Ashiq Awan is at 59%, while 17 percent people are satisfied with her performance.
Majority of respondents of 2020 survey (45%) believe that Nawaz Sharif will not return to Pakistan, whereas 39% have opposite opinion. Majority (49%) believe that his illness could be treated in Pakistan. Almost half of the Pakistanis (49%) have opinion that Maryam Nawaz should not be allowed to go abroad. Majority (44%) also believe that award of bail to Asif Ali Zardari and permission to Nawaz Sharif for treatment in London was a part of any secret deal between the government and opposition
Majority (51%) have the opinion that Army Chief should get the extension. Interestingly majority of people (42%) have no opinion or are not aware of amendment to the NAB Ordinance, while whereas 40% believe that this was done for saving own skin in Peshawar metro and other projects.
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