Explained: What is Economic Survey, why is it Important

economic survey 2021-22
Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman with minister of state Anurag Singh Thakur. Sitharaman will table the Economic Survey 2021-22 in the Lok Sabha on Monday.

The Economic Survey for 2021-22 will be tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday, the first day of the Budget session of Parliament. There is a lot of curiosity around the document as it offers the finance ministry’s economic growth forecast for the next financial year.

The Survey has had two volumes in the last eight years. This year’s document is expected to contain a single volume as the chief economic advisor who authors the Survey was appointed only two days before its scheduled tabling. The government appointed V Anantha Nageswaran as CEA on Friday. His predecessor K V Subramanian’s three-year term ended in December.

The new CEA V Anantha Nageswaran will address a press conference in New Delhi after the Economic Survey is tabled in the Lok Sabha by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman.

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Why is Economic Survey important

The survey reviews developments in the Indian economy in the financial year, evaluates the development programmes and highlights the future direction of government policy. The first volume of the survey indicates the future direction of policy, while the second lists the developments in the financial year.

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The Economic Survey was part of the Union Budget till 1964. Since then, the Survey is tabled a day before the budget. It sets the context for the Budget by identifying the trends in agriculture, industry, employment, inflation and trade.

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The Survey is expected to predict a growth rate of around 9% in 2022-23, going by the economic trends and the performance of the sectors of the economy. The growth projections given by the last few Economic Surveys were way off the mark. The last Survey had projected 11% growth in the current financial year, but the revised estimate by the ministry of statistics put growth at 9.2%. The projection for 2020-21 was 6-6.5%, but the economy contracted 7.3% due to the impact of Covid-19.

The Survey is an important document as it offers insights into the economy’s health, critical for financial planning. Economic Survey 2021-22 will be available at https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/economicsurvey/ after the document is tabled in the Lok Sabha on Monday.