What is Economic Survey?

Economic survey is presented every year shortly before presenting the Union Budget. This document sets the backdrop for the Budget. The rationale of an Economic survey is that the Parliament can better appreciate the Budget proposals with the background Knowledge provided by the Survey. Economic Survey also provides an opportunity for the government to spell out its economic agenda.

India’s first economic survey was presented for the financial year 1950- 51. We can find the Economic Survey documents from the finance ministry website from 1957-58 onwards. Before 1964, Economic Survey was circulated along with the Budget documents. However, from 1964 onwards, it was de-linked from the budget and circulated in advance, so that a context to the budget can be provided.

How Economic Survey is prepared?

The first draft of the economic survey is prepared by the department of economic affairs in the finance ministry. Then, this draft is cleared by the Chief Economic Advisor and secretary of economic affairs. The final version is scrutinized by the Finance Secretary and Finance Minister. Most of the data are given by Central Statistical Office (CSO) of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOPSI).

Difference between Budget and Economic Survey

The constitution of India neither uses word budget or economic survey. Article 112 says that every year the president of India shall cause to be laid in parliament an “annual financial statement”. This statement and some other documents are commonly called budget. Thus, while budget is a constitutional obligation for Union government, Economic Survey is neither a constitutional nor statutory obligation. Further, while budget is prepared in utmost secrecy in the North Block, which houses finance ministry; Economic Survey is printed outside in one of the government presses. Most of its data is already in public domain, so there is no secrecy about it.

Economic Survey 2017-18

Since 2016-17, Economic Survey is presented as two volumes. The Economic survey 2017-18 is a 358 page document in two volumes.

Volume-I
  • Preface: Ten New Facts on Indian Economy
  • Chapter-1: State of the Economy: An Analytical Overview and Outlook for Policy
  • Chapter-2: A New, Exciting Bird’s-Eye View of the Indian Economy Through the GST
  • Chapter-3: Investment and Saving Slowdowns and Recoveries: Cross-Country Insights for India
  • Chapter-4: Reconciling Fiscal Federalism and Accountability: Is there a Low Equilibrium Trap?
  • Chapter-5: Is there a “Late Converger Stall” in Economic Development? Can India Escape it?
  • Chapter-6: Climate, Climate Change, and Agriculture
  • Chapter-7: Gender and Son Meta-Preference: Is Development Itself an Antidote?
  • Chapter-8: Transforming Science and Technology in India
  • Chapter-10: Ease of Doing Business’ Next Frontier: Timely Justice
Volume-2
  • Preface
  • Chapter-1: An Overview of India’s Economic Performance in 2017-18
  • Chapter-2: Review of Fiscal Developments
  • Chapter-3: Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation
  • Chapter-4: Prices and Inflation
  • Chapter-5: Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate Change
  • Chapter-6: External Sector
  • Chapter-7: Agriculture and Food Management
  • Chapter-8: Industry and Infrastructure
  • Chapter-9: Services Sector
  • Chapter-10: Social Infrastructure, Employment and Human Development

In above 20 chapters, the survey has provided thoughtful insights on virtually all the sectors of Indian economy.

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