In which direction is the country heading ?
At the end of two years, popular perception is divided between those who think the country is moving in the right direction and those who think the opposite. The poll showed 51 percent approved the way it is being run with a strong 31 percent feeling that the country is moving in the wrong direction. This contrasts dramatically with 71 percent thinking it was going in the right direction at the beginning of the govt's tenure, which dropped to 62 percent a year later and now it is 51 percent.

An interesting thing to note here is that in our one-and-a-half yearly survey six months ago 50 percent said they think the country was going in the right direction. So in the last six months, this opinion remained almost static. On the other hand, more people now think the country is heading in the wrong direction. Two years ago, it was 17 percent, one year later it was 19 percent, one and a half year later it was 34 percent and now it is 31 percent. However, in the last six months the negative view decreased by 3 percentage points.

Interestingly there seems to be a rural-urban divide on this issue. 54 percent rural people endorse the way the country is being run while 48 percent urban dwellers do that. Again, 54 percent males hold a better view compared with 47 percent women.

Popularity on decline
After two years of the government, 36 percent respondents said they are satisfied with the performance of the government and another 12 percent very satisfied. 23 percent said they are dissatisfied and 6 percent very dissatisfied. A large 22 percent are neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

This satisfaction level however declined over the last two years. After the first 100 days of the government, a huge 81 percent said they were satisfied with the government. Of them 62 percent were satisfied and 19 percent very satisfied. One year later, this number dropped to 53 percent. Two years after, 48 percent 36 percent satisfied and 12 percent very satisfied. But the number of dissatisfied respondents increased from zero percent two years ago to 14 percent one year ago to 23 percent now. Males and rural people are more satisfied with the government.

Dim view about economy ….
People's perception about the economy slid over the two years despite the fact that the country very well tackled the world depression and its aftereffect. Some 39 percent of the respondents said the economy is moving positively after two years of the current government. 24 percent said it is not so much encouraging while 28 percent said it is leading to a bad situation.

After 100 days of the government, 59 percent people found good indications in economy and had a positive view, which dipped to 50 percent after one year. After two years, it further slid to 40 percent. However the number of people finding the economy not so encouraging remain static at 24 percent. But more people now think bad times are ahead as their percentage rose from 13 percent two years back to 28 percent now. Interestingly, rural people and males take a much better view of the economy than the urban and female population.

And inflation may be a reason for that dim view
Less and less people are now satisfied with the government's handling of inflation as prices of essentials spiral. This is in fact one of the most basic and pervasive things that touch people across the board. Within 100 days of the government's coming to power, 74 percent people said the issue of price inflation was well managed and that they were satisfied. One year later, the number dramatically dropped to 38 percent, and two years after it further slid to 25 percent. Concurrently, the number of people who think price inflation was not well managed increased from 20 percent when the government came to power to 52 percent after one year and to 61 percent now. Thirteen percent people find no change in the situation after two years of the government compared with 5 percent two years ago, and 9 percent one year ago. Female respondents and urban dwellers are more dissatisfied with the price situation.

Similarly, a large 61 percent are unhappy about the government's performance in controlling essential commodity prices. Forty seven percent of them said they are dissatisfied with the situation while 14 percent said they are very dissatisfied. Only 19 percent found the situation satisfactory.

Issue of attention
Although a large segment (26 percent) think the government took steps to fight price inflation, most respondents still think tackling price inflation should be the government's top priority. In fact, from 29 percent two years back to 38 percent now think it should be the priority. More people, than two years ago, think power and gas should be priorities. However, only six months ago, 23 percent said power and gas needs the government's greatest attention. Now only 9 percent think so, showing that the recent flurry of activities to augment power generation have been well received by the people. But in another question, respondents rated the government's power initiatives low. More people than ever think education should be a priority (9 percent after 100 days, 8 percent after 1 year, 15 percent after 2 years). In fact, the highest 51 percent now think the government has taken steps in education and yet 15 percent said education still needs the government's highest priority. They put education above power, corruption, and law and order issues. This shows that people can feel the importance of education for development.

Weak points of the government
People were asked to identify the weak points of the government in two years. The highest 22 percent named corruption followed by law and order and inflation (17 percent both), and Bangladesh Chhatra League's activities (13 percent).