Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will set the tone for the Union Budget by tabling the Economic Survey in Parliament on Monday. Authored by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian, the annual survey is expected to shed light on the policy priorities of the government and give a detailed account of the state of the economy, especially in the wake of implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Economic Survey India 2017-18 LIVE Updates: India’s GDP to grow at 7-7.5% in 2018-19
What is Economic Survey and what does it feature?
The Economic Survey projects the official version of the state of the economy and is generally presented in Parliament a day before the presentation of the annual Budget. It acts as a precursor to the budget. It discusses the outlook, prospects and challenges of the economy while recommending reform measures that are essential to propel the economy.
Things to watch out in the Economic Survey
The survey is expected to project an economic growth trajectory for the year ahead after the World projected a growth forecast of 7.3 per cent for India. The IMF, however, pegged India’s growth rate at 6.7 per cent in 2018. Further, while GST rate changes, which are the preserve of the GST Council, may not figure in the survey or the budget, there could be quite a few legislative changes in the GST law, which have been announced in the earlier meetings. There are also expected to be quite a few policy level announcements relating to infrastructure, real estate etc. which would also have an impact on the relevant indirect taxes.
The survey might touch upon the built-up stress in the rural economy. It might recommend an increase in allocation of funds towards existing schemes such as MGNREGA, crop insurance, irrigation works and other social security measures along with infrastructure related to cold chains to boost agriculture and the overall rural economy.
Are these recommendations mandatory for the government to follow?
These recommendations serve only as a policy guide as the government is not bound to follow them. There have been several instances in the past where the suggestions laid out in the economic survey were not followed in budget proposals.
A day before Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley is set to present the Economic Survey, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram Sunday hit out at the government, claiming it is “clueless” about how to create jobs. The Congress leader, in a series of tweets, cautioned: “Be prepared for an assault on our common sense by wild claims of job creation by the government.” He went on to argue that real job creation will be reflected by robust increase in private investment, private consumption, exports and credit demand, which is not happening yet.