The above prestigious document is available online with 442 pages, 11 chapters, and ending with Tracking Development through Satellite Images and Cartography. Many interesting & scintillating facts are collected in this article with an appeal to request the readers to read the full document to have a feel-good attitude to face the uncertain economic world. Let me narrate the chapters with their titles for easy bird’s view of the total document.

Chapter 1 State of Economy

Chapter 2 Fiscal Developments

Chapter 3 External Sector

Chapter 4 Monetary Management and Financial Intermediation

Chapter 5 Prices and Inflation

Chapter 6 Sustainable Development and Climate Change

Chapter 7 Agriculture and food management

Chapter 8 Industry and infrastructure

Chapter 9 Services

Chapter 10 Social Infrastructure and Employment

Chapter 11 Tracking Development through Satellite Images and Cartography.

Let us lay down the basic rules to understand the above mammoth document prepared by the topmost economists of the nation with absolute devotion, meticulous preparation, and a willingness to cohort with the future with the best available scientific/economic/political resources.

Yes, one starts reading the preface given by Mr. Sanjeev Sanyal (Principal Economic Adviser), Ministry of Finance, Government of India, one of the topmost economists available in the nation.

It is highly possible that you do specialize or have your own prescriptions for improving our economy. So, kindly corelate the relevant chapter dealing with your subject in the Survey for proper understanding.

Let me start analyzing the document in my own way but extensive actual information permeates my discussion for which I owe no apologies since the most authentic information is available from the massive Survey 2022.

Interesting history of the Survey

Do you know: (Yes, extensive narrations from the Survey which represent a enlivening experience)

  • The Survey was first published in 1950-51 and was initially part of the Budget documents. The document was less than 50 pages in the 1950s and contained a brief outline of economic developments of the previous year. For example, the Survey of 1957-58 had just 38 pages.
  • From 1958-59, the length of the survey started increasing with the introduction of more charts and tables. A Hindi translation also was available.
  • The Survey of 1962-63 was divided into two parts where the first part focused on broader economic developments while the second part gave a basic analysis of different sectors.
  • The next year Survey got separated from budget documents. Statistical appendix adorned the document.
  • By 1970, the length of the Economic Survey had already crossed 150 pages with a detailed list of tables.
  • The 1980s saw a consistent rise in the length of the document with the introduction of new chapters. By 1990, the length of the Economic Survey had reached close to 250 pages including the statistical appendix.
  • Let us recollect that the Indian economy went through a major crisis and subsequent reforms in 1991, and the Economic Survey of 1991-92 was eagerly awaited.
  • Yes, your expectation is correct. This was the first survey that was brought out in two volumes although the first volume was a short booklet of 27 pages that highlighted the macroeconomic problems facing the country while the second volume reviewed the various sectors in detail. This was the first-time socialists could not believe their own eyes seeing a sinking Indian economy.
  • The beginning of the 21st century saw another transformation of the Economic Survey with introduction of better graphics and brighter colors. The length of the survey, meanwhile, crossed 380 pages by the early 2000s.
  • Let me conclude this history with the information that The Economic Survey 2020-21 consisted of 335 pages in Volume 1, 368 pages in Volume 2 and a statistical appendix of 174 pages – a total of 877 pages!

We are aware and underwent the pandemic during the last two years, many of our relatives/friends do not exist today, but the Government of India’s approach was one of s a bouquet of safety-nets to cushion the impact on vulnerable sections of society and the business sector. It developed an “Agile” framework that uses feedback-loops, and the monitoring of real-time data.

Economic Survey – 2021-22 (Rarefied gems)

How did it perform?

Table 5: Key Safety Net Measures to Prevent Distress during COVID-19 from page 45 replies with actual figures which speak by themselves.

It is mind boggling but please do have patience to see the realities.

Pages 41 to 44 give the statistics.

Cash transfers:

  • `500/month for 3 months to women Jan Dhan Account holders – `30,944 crore released to 20.64 crore women beneficiaries.
  • `2814 crore released covering 2.82 crore beneficiaries from vulnerable section of the society.
  • ` 1.8 lakh crore transferred to more than 10 crore farmer families as on 1.1.2022, since Feb 2019, i.e., 6 instalments since COVID-19 under Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN). This is considered as one of the largest cash transfers even by numbers in the world.
  • Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana – Additional free of-cost food grains to 80 Crore National Food Security Act (NFSA) beneficiaries @ 5 Kg per person per month.
  • One Nation One Ration Card – Enabled in 34 States/UTs by August 2021 covering 94.3 per cent National Food Security Act population with 24.32 crore portability transactions carried out.
  • Cooking gas cylinders under Ujjawala – 3 free cylinders to 8 crore beneficiaries for April to June 2020.
  • Under Pradhan Mantri Garib Kalyan Rojgar Abhiyaan (PM-GKRA), generated 50.8 crore man-days employment as on 27.07.21 with expenditure of Rs.39,293 crore.
  • Under (MGNREGS), 2020-21 employment provided to 11.2 crore persons generating 389.2 crore person days. Funds of Rs. 1,11,171 crores released. For 2021-22 (as on 25.11.2021), employment provided to 8.85 crore persons generating 240.4 crore person days. Funds of Rs. 68,233 crores released.
  • Employees Provident Fund (EPF) for 6 months for establishments with up to 100 employees with 90 per cent earning less than ` 15000/ – Protected employment in EPFO registered establishments post-COVID.
  • Now, Aatmanirbhar Bharat Rojgar Yojana (ABRY) – As on 20.11.2021, benefit provided to 39.43 lakh beneficiaries through 1.15 lakh establishments.
  • Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana – Urban (PMAY-U) l l 2020-21: 14.56 lakh houses completed 2021-22: 4.49 lakh houses completed up to December 2021.
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana (DDU-GKY) and Rural Self Employment Training Institutes (RSETIs) – 2021-22 (till Oct’21): 14,568 candidates trained and 21,369 candidates placed in jobs l RSETI 2020-21: 207712 candidates trained and 138537 candidates settled

More actual achievements from pages 41-44.

Pages 46-50 give the revival of growth curves under Figure 25: Performance of High Frequency Indicators

a. E-way Bill Generation b. GST Collection, c. Power Consumption d. Electronic Toll Collection and Count, e. Retail Mobility f. UPI and ATM Transactions, g. Freight and Cargo Traffic, h. Domestic Tractor Sales i. Two and Three Vehicle Sales, j. MNREGA work generated and demanded, k. Fuel Consumption l. Passenger Vehicle Sales, m. Railway Passenger Earnings n. Air Passenger Traffic, o. Crude Oil Price p. Currency in Circulation and Money Supply, q. Equity Markets r. Bond Yields, s. Mandi Arrivals t. Retail Prices, u. FDI and FPI v. Non-Oil Import and Export, w. Foreign Trade x. Baltic Dry Index, and y. Net Sale/Purchase of Dollar and Exchange Rate z. Foreign Exchange Reserves.

b. Which are the ones showing upward trends?

c. E-way Bill Generation b. GST Collection, e. Retail Mobility f. UPI and ATM Transactions, g. Freight and Cargo Traffic, and many others except six others. Please go through the pages 46-50 to see the snakes and ladders of economic performances.

Vaccination drive: Let me quote the mind shattering actual achievements which really matter to me who witnessed the cruelest disease in recent memories of 6 decades.

The latest available data at the time of writing shows that 99 per cent of the registered Health Care Workers and 100 per cent of the Front-Line Workers, 87 per cent of the population aged between 18- 44 years, 95 per cent of the population aged between 45-60 years and 89 per cent of the population above 60 years have been covered under the first dose.

Is it wonderful?

To a wavering mind, why not some from Table 6: Comparison of Macroeconomic Indicators during Global Financial Crisis, Taper Tantrum and COVID-19 – page 53.

Macroeconomic Indicators 2008-09 2012-13 2021-22
CPI inflation 9.1 9.4 5.2
India’s Gross Fiscal Deficit
as % of GDP 8.3 6.9 10.2
Fiscal Deficit of EMDEs (Asia)
as % of GDP 1.6 1.7 1.8
Current Account Balance
as % of GDP -2.3 -4.8 -0.2
External Debt as
% Of GDP 20.7  22.4 20.2
 Forex Reserves (US$ billion) 252 292 634
Govt Bond Yields 10-year 7.3 8.0 6.4
Total FDI inflows (US$ billion) 8.3 34.0 48.4
SCBs Capital to Risk Weighted
 Assets Ratio (CRAR) 13.2 13.9 16.5
 SCBs Provision Coverage Ratio -47.6 68.1
External sector

Yes, my mind encircling with our pathetic position in the past with a few weeks foreign exchange position for imports and high probability of failing to honor our repayment commitments, with the disastrous pandemic, how did we perform?

Believe it or not, the reality – Despite all the disruptions caused by the global pandemic, India’s balance of payments remained in surplus throughout the last two years (Figure 27). This allowed the Reserve Bank of India to keep accumulating foreign exchange reserves, which stands at US$634 billion on 31st December 2021). This is equivalent to 13.2 months of imports (Figure 28) and higher than the country’s external debt. As of end-November 2021, India was the fourth largest foreign exchange reserves holder in the world after China, Japan, and Switzerland.

Fiscal Balance

The most debated item of economists in every discussion was whether our economy would lapse back to unmanageable physical deficit.

The fiscal support given to the economy as well as the health response caused the fiscal deficit and government debt to rise in 2020-21. However, there has been a strong rebound in government revenues in 2021-22 so far. The revenue receipts of the central government during April- November 2021 have gone up by 67.2 per cent (YoY), as against an estimated growth of 9.6 per cent in the 2021-22 Budget Estimates. The tax collections have been buoyant for both direct and indirect taxes (Figure 29.

The gross monthly GST collections have crossed Rs.1 lakh crore consistently since July 2021 (details in Chapter 2).

Let me quote the physical deficit as 7% as of April – November 2021.

Titbits from financial sector from which I hail.

Financial sector

The Sensex and Nifty scaled up to touch its peak at 61,766 and 18,477 on October 18, 2021. Among major emerging market economies, Indian markets outperformed its peers in April-December 2021. The year 2021-22 so far has been an exceptional year for the primary markets with a boom in fundraising through IPOs by many new age companies/tech start-ups/unicorns. ` 89,066 crore was raised via 75 IPO issues in April- November 2021, much higher than in any year in the last decade (details in Chapter 4).

Exceptional performance and an awesome faith of foreigners in India which faced the worst crisis with daily break downs as a routine.

Some negative ones too!

Shipping Container Shortage and Rising Trade Costs

The stress in the container shortages can be captured in the Drewry’s3 Composite World Container Index4. The Index stands at US$ 9,698.33 per 40ft container as of 20th January 2022 (Figure 2B). This is US$ 6,656 higher than the five-year average and remains 82 per cent higher than a year earlier.


I do not venture to give too many details of the whole gamut of above reforms which were extensively covered by me in many of earlier articles but with some introduction information for you to go relevant chapter and read yourselves.

From page 59

Another distinguishing feature of India’s economic response has been an emphasis on supply-side reforms rather than a total reliance on demand management. These supply-side reforms include deregulation of numerous sectors, simplification of processes, removal of legacy issues like ‘retrospective tax’, privatisation, production-linked incentives and so on. Some of these have been listed in Table 7 and have been discussed in detail in the respective chapters.

Even the sharp increase in capital spending by the Government can be seen as both demand and supply response as it creates infrastructure capacity for future growth.


Chapter 2 discusses the reforms undertaken in the public procurement policy- launch of Government eMarketplace (GeM) in 2016 for standard routine use items and the new procurement guidelines issued in October 2021 for non-standard items and projects.

Chapter 4 discusses for the need for simplification of voluntary liquidation process for corporates and for institutionalising a standard process for Cross Border Insolvency Process.

Similarly, chapter 9 discusses the simplification of Drone rules and reforms in telecom sector, and the need for reforms in the patent application.

Table 7: Key supply side measures/reforms from pages 60-64 gives complete information under industry, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector, Telecom, Public procurement policy, Aviation, Financial sector, Micro Small & Medium Enterprises (MSMEs), Space & Geospatial sector, Disinvestment, Land reforms and Defence.

Let us compare ourselves with the rest of the world

Growth outlook

  • The Indian economy is estimated to grow by 9.2 per cent in real terms in 2021-22 (as per the First Advance Estimates), after a contraction of 7.3 per cent in 2020-21.
  • India’s GDP is projected to grow in real terms by 8.0-8.5 per cent in 2022-23.
  • The above projection is comparable with the World Bank’s and Asian Development Bank’s latest forecasts of real GDP growth of 8.7 per cent and 7.5 per cent respectively for 2022-23.
  • As per the IMF’s latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) growth projections released on 25th January 2022, India’s real GDP is projected to grow at 9 per cent in both 2021-22 and 2022-23 and at 7.1 per cent in 2023-24.
  • This projects India as the fastest growing major economy in the world in all these three years (Table 8). Page 65.
  • Let me narrate –

Year over Year (Percent change, unless noted otherwise)

Country/Country groups Estimate Projections
  2020 2021 2022 2023
World Output –3.1 5.9 4.4 3.8
 Advanced Economies –4.5 5.0  3.9 2.6
United States –3.4 5.6 4.0  2.6
Euro Area –6.4 5.2 3.9  2.5
Germany –4.6 2.7  3.8 2.5
 France –8.0 6.7 3.5 1.8
Italy –8.9 6.2 3.8 2.2
Spain  –10.8 4.9  5.8  3.8
Japan  –4.5 1.6 3.3 1.8
United Kingdom  –9.4 7.2 4.7 2.3
Canada –5.2 4.7 4.1 2.8
Other Advanced
 Economies* –1.9 4.7 3.6 2.9
Emerging Market and Developing Economies –2.0 6.5  4.8 4.7
Emerging and Developing Asia –0.9 7.2  5.9 5.8
 China 2.3 8.1 4.8 5.2
 India**  –7.3  9.0  9.0 7.1
ASEAN*** –3.4 3.1 5.6 6.0
Emerging and Developing
Europe  –1.8 6.5 3.5 2.9

It may be observed from the above analysis that India is showing the best performance among the nations which is a remarkable feat compared with its huge population and suffering undergone under the worst pandemic in living memories.

Annexures contain a List of 80 High Frequency Indicators (HFIs) on pages 66 onwards. This information for researchers, students, prodding professionals, and for government officials who compiled these massive data.

What about state finances who do occupy an important contributor of Indian economy?

From page 94,

The Gross Fiscal Deficit of Statesis estimated to crossthe Fiscal Responsibility Legislation (FRL) threshold of 3 per cent of GDP during 2020-21 RE and 2021-22 BE. The Revenue Deficit of the States also increased from 0.1 per cent of GDP in 2018-19 to 2 per cent of GDP in 2020-21 (RE) (Figure 20).

 This relaxation in borrowing limits was allowed on account of the additional expenditure needs and constrained revenues of the States due to COVID-19. The net borrowing ceilings of the States were enhanced to 5 per cent of GSDP of the States for the year 2020-21 and 4 per cent of GSDP of the States for 2021-22.

Box 3: Measures taken by the Centre to support the States during 2021-22 available on page 96 for your reference.

What about external sector projections of the Survey?

External trade recovered strongly in 2021-22 after the pandemic-induced slump of the previous year, with strong capital flows into India, leading to a rapid accumulation of foreign exchange reserves.

The resilience of India’s external sector during the current year augurs well for growth revival in the economy. However, the downside risks of global liquidity tightening and continued volatility of global commodity prices, high freight costs, coupled with the fresh resurgence of COVID-19 with new variants may pose a challenge for India during 2022-23.

What about Indian export/import destinations which is a matter of great interest for anyone reading the Survey?

USA followed by UAE and China remained the top export destinations in April-November 2021, while China, UAE and USA were the largest import sources for India.

It is true that out of an ambitious export target of US$ 400 billion set for 2021-22, India has already attained more than 75 per cent of it by exporting goods worth US$ 301.4 billion.

A mind-boggling achievement.

Do you know:

a. Marine products with US $ 5.4 billion rank the first among agriculture products during April – November 2021.

b. Indian currency showed a good performance among Movement of exchange rate against US dollar of major EME* currencies (Nov 2021 over Nov 2020) with –0.3.

c. After several rate cuts in 2019-20 and 2020-21, the repo rate was maintained at 4 per cent in 2021-22. The liquidity in the system remained in surplus throughout.

d. It is good to know that Gross Non-Performing advances ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks (SCBs) continued to decline from 11.2 per cent at end of 2017-18 to 6.9 per cent at end-September 2021. Similarly, Net Non-Performing advances ratio declined from 6 per cent to 2.2 per cent during the same period. This was supposed to be a weak area and invited many heated discussions among academic scholars. Very good achievement.

e. It is interesting to know the share of individual investors in total turnover at NSE increased from 38.8 per cent in 2019-20 to 44.7 per cent in April-October 2021 which shows the faith of an individual shareholder like you and me in the share market.

f. None could predict that The benchmark stock market indices in India – Sensex and Nifty 50, would increase by 17.7 per cent and 18.1 per cent, respectively during April-December 2021. Amazing performance.

g. Under PENSION SECTOR, UP ranked first with 51.9 Number of APY Accounts (in Lakh). A sure way to strengthen Indian social sector.


Giving the most authentic source of economic data verified with the best economic tools in the world, Indian Survey today attracts the attention of the best investors of the world. Indian investors led by simple individual ones have transformed our economy to the faster growth of economic wonders and emerging as the fastest growing one. Though I have given a glimpse of some areas which amused my economic wonders, please read the Survey thoroughly to have a clear vision and active plan of action for future.

Let us proudly proclaim that we are among the best nations today to economically plan, grow, and achieve higher prosperity.


Economic Survey to be obtained from


I am sure a Hindi translation is equally available too.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for information purposes only and do not constitute an advice or a legal opinion and are personal views of the author. It is based upon relevant law and/or facts available at that point of time and prepared with due accuracy & reliability. Readers are requested to check and refer relevant provisions of statute, latest judicial pronouncements, circulars, clarifications etc. before acting because of the above write up. The possibility of other views on the subject matter cannot be ruled out. By use of the said information, you agree that Author/Tax Guru is not responsible or liable in any manner for the authenticity, accuracy, completeness, errors, or any kind of omissions in this piece of information for any action taken thereof. This is not any kind of advertisement or solicitation of work by a professional.

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A banker with 27 years of experience, a CPA from USA with specialization in US taxation, individual, partnership, S corporation or LLC taxation etc View Full Profile

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