From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Economic Survey
Mains level : Economic Survey and its significance
With the Indian economy in the doldrums, this year’s Economic Survey will be keenly watched. The Economic Survey for 2019-2020 will be tabled in Parliament today.
What is the Economic Survey?
- The Economic Survey is a report the government presents on the state of the economy in the past one year, the key challenges it anticipates, and their possible solutions.
- One day before the Union budget, the Chief Economic Adviser (CEA) of the country releases the Economic Survey.
- The document is prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the guidance of the CEA.
- Once prepared, the Survey is approved by the Finance Minister.
- The first Economic Survey was presented in 1950-51. Until 1964, the document would be presented along with the Budget.
- For the past few years, the Economic Survey has been presented in two volumes.
- For example, in 2018-19, while Volume 1 focussed on research and analysis of the challenges facing the Indian economy, Volume 2 gave a more detailed review of the financial year, covering all the major sectors of the economy.
Why is the Economic Survey significant?
- The Economic Survey is a crucial document as it provides a detailed, official version of the government’s take on the country’s economic condition.
- It can also be used to highlight some key concerns or areas of focus — for example, in 2018, the survey presented by the then CEA Arvind Subramanian was pink in colour, to stress on gender equality.
Is it binding on the government?
- The government is not constitutionally bound to present the Economic Survey or to follow the recommendations that are made in it.
- If the government so chooses, it can reject all suggestions laid out in the document.
- But while the Centre is not obliged to present the Survey at all, it is tabled because of the significance it holds.
What are the expectations from Economic Survey 2020?
- At a time when India’s growth has plummeted to a six-year low, the Economic Survey ahead of the Union Budget is expected to offer key insights into the path ahead for the government to revive growth.
- The conundrum of remaining fixated on deficit targets or making a concerted push towards more expenditure to kickstart growth is one of the key challenges the government is facing.
- The Survey is expected to shed light on the crucial gaps that the Budget will aim to fill in terms of unemployment, private investment, and a slump in consumption.