Study on the Impact of Delhi Government Subsidies on Citizens
Globally, developed countries are recognised for their strong social security nets. The Delhi Government is committed to strengthening the security net for the residents of Delhi by providing access to free and quality healthcare services, public education, potable water, reliable power supply and public travel in buses for women. These interventions make a significant impact on the equality of life of citizens.
In early 2020, the Dialogue and Development Commission of Delhi (DDC) partnered with the Planning Department to conduct a study to analyse the impact of subsidies on the socio-economic conditions of residents of Delhi and the local economy.
The study sample consisted of a random sampling of the electricity bills generated by the 3 power distribution companies (DISCOMs) in the 11 districts of Delhi. The questionnaire design was based on door-to-door surveys and consisted of questions on the spending and saving habits of the working men and women, and the household, in general, being surveyed. A total of 3450 households availing subsidies were surveyed which included houses from unauthorised colonies, JJ Clusters, resettlement colonies and DDA flats, with a minimum of 300 households from each district. The said survey was conducted in March 2020.
The findings of the study reflect that:
- The average household size being surveyed is 5.5 i.e. the households benefiting from the Delhi Government schemes are usually large families as compared to the ones that do not benefit from these schemes;
- Some of the lessors/ landlords were not transferring the benefit of the Government subsidies to their lessees/ tenants;
- The majority of the households that benefit are in the unauthorised colonies. The planned colonies with bungalows/kothis had the least number of beneficiaries.
Impact of Subsidies
- All the surveyed households that benefited from reduced or zero electricity and water bills also received the benefit from subsidised treatment in Government hospitals, free bus rides for women and free public education;
- These benefits consequently led to savings of Rs. 2464 per month per household on average;
- Majority of households (61.6%) had the power to spend these savings resulting from Government subsidies on investments in Fixed Deposits, Post Office deposits, insurance, savings in banks, etc;
- The money saved due to subsidies provided by Delhi Government could be spent on food and beverages, education-related purchases, clothing and household appliances i.e. an increase in purchasing power.
The results of the 'Study on the Impact of Delhi Government subsidies on Citizens' assessed the various aspects of the impact of the subsidies given under various Delhi Government services in Delhi and revealed that subsidies have a huge impact on investments, savings and purchasing power of benefitted households. The study also suggested that subsidies provided for various Government services in Delhi should be continued for the socio-economic development of the people who belong to the most disadvantaged communities.