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5 Things To Watch Out For In Today’s Economic Survey
Economic Survey 2022: Economic Survey is the most important and reliable document presented by the government. It shows the performance of the economy in the previous year and suggests socio-economic measures for the upcoming financial year.
New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman will present the Economic Survey for the year 2021-22 in Parliament today. Monday, January 31, 2022, is the first day of this year’s Budget Session. Generally, every year, the economic survey is presented one day before the Budget. This year too, the norm is not different. The Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) is given the responsibility to prepare the Economic Survey.
However, this year there was no CEA. The former CEA, K Subramanian returned to academics after his tenure got over. The Principle Economic Adviser, Sanjeev Sanyal, was given the duty to prepare the document. The government, on Friday, appointed noted economist K Anantha Nageswaran as India’s new CEA. He will address the press at 3:45 PM today.
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Economic Survey is the most important and reliable document presented by the government. It shows the performance of the economy in the previous year and suggests socio-economic measures for the upcoming financial year. Since the tenure of Arvind Subramanian, the document is presented in two volumes. However, this year media reports suggest that the document will have only one volume. That too, digital-only.
5 Key Things To Watch Out For In Today’s Economic Survey
- GDP Outlook: Budget 2021 had set a target of GDP growth of 9.2 per cent. However, the return of the Covid-19 pandemic, followed by a deadly wave played a major disruption. Currently, the country is fighting the third wave of the pandemic. It will be interesting to see what the Economic Survey 2021 has to say about the GDP growth for the upcoming year. It will also be noteworthy to find out the actual GDP growth country saw in 2021-22.
- Unemployment: India has seen a gradual rise in unemployment figures. The pandemic made the situation worse. Along with pay cuts, there were lay-offs, and the informal sector of the economy, which accommodates 90 per cent of the total workforce of India, was completely shaken. The government had taken various steps to provide households with the money through schemes like MGNREGA. However, recent protests by the students against the RRB-NTPC recruitment, where against each post there were 354 applicants, have brought back the employment debate to the front. It would be interesting to see what the Survey comments on this elephant in the room.
- Disinvestment: The privatisation of Air India was one of the most important highlights of FY21-22. The return of the Maharaja to its origins was applauded by everyone. However, in Budget 2021, the government had set a disinvestment target of Rs 1.75 lakh crores. Reports suggest that the government is far behind the set goal. It remains to be seen what the CEA’s office will comment on this and what roadmap will it lay in front of the government ahead of Budget 2022.
- Healthcare And Pharma Industry: It is evident that the healthcare sector was the most important sector in the economy in the last year. States and the Centre channelised their funds from other sectors to the healthcare sector to cater to the growing need for hospital beds and vaccination. Interestingly, India saw major developments in the Pharma sector with two Covid-19 vaccines being developed indigenously. The founders of Bharat Biotech and Serum Institue of India were awarded the Padma awards on January 26, 2022. The CEA’s comment on budgetary allocation to the healthcare and pharma sector will be crucial.
- Inflation: The inflation figures in India have been rising. The CPI and WPI touched a four-month high in December 2021, according to data by MoSPI. The rising prices of crude oil, along with elevating geopolitical tensions in Ukraine and the Middle East have also put pressure on the global economy. The government does not have many options to explore given the rise in the fiscal deficit due to the pandemic.
The way forward, outlined by CEA, will be important to watch. Consumers will be keen to find out what the office of CEA has to say about tackling the rising inflation.
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