What is Economic Survey of India

Just ahead of the announcement of the Union Budget every year, we keep hearing and read about Economic Survey of India. Those who are familiar with it, know and understand what is Economic Survey and its importance. This article covers broad understanding about Economic Survey of India.

The Economic Survey is a document issued by the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, expressing its views on the state of the economy of India. It captures update of the past 12 months.

The Economic Survey is prepared by the Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs under the guidance of the Chief Economic Adviser of India. The idea is to bring citizens of the country close to the economic policy by providing data and analysis in a comprehensive way.

The first Economic Survey was presented in the year 1950-51. Until 1964, it was presented along with the Union Budget, but after 1964 it was separated from the Budget and presented before the Budget to give a better understanding of the budget proposals.

The Economic Survey is presented by Chief Economic Advisor and tabled in both the houses by Finance Minister every year before presenting Budget. The Economic Survey document covers the following:-

a) The overall performance of the Indian economy over the past financial year in various sectors such as agriculture and food management, industry and infrastructure, employment and human development, prices and inflation, monetary management and financial intermediation (banks, stockbrokers, stock exchanges, etc.), imports, exports, foreign exchange reserves, etc.

b) Highlights various policy initiatives taken/ to be taken by the Government of India; and

c) Outlines the future prospects of the economy in the short to medium term.

Economic Survey document is presented in two volumes. Volume-I provides evidence based economic analyses of recent economic developments to enable informed policymaking and Volume-II reviews recent developments in the major sectors of the economy and is supported by relevant statistical tables and data. The study of entire document suggests problems that the economy is facing, possible solutions for them and areas that require focus in the coming year.

The Economic Survey document is available on the website of the Ministry of Finance www.finmin.nic.in and on Union Budget website www.indiabudget.gov.in.

Hope you find the above information relevant and useful.

(The author is a CA in practice at Mumbai and can be contacted at: E-mail: [email protected])

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April 2021