What is Economic Survey and why is it important?


The Economic Survey of India is a detailed report on the performance or state of the economy during the previous year, future challenges and the way forward. It is typically presented a day before the Union Budget.

The flagship report is prepared by the Economics Division of the Department of Economic Affairs (DEA) under the guidance of the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA). Krishnamurthy Subramanian, who was appointed the CEA in December 2018, will present the Survey this year.

While the Budget and Economic Survey are usually tabled a day apart, this year it might be different. According to a report by Times of India, the Economic Survey 2021 could be tabled on January 29, as the Union Budget to be presented on February 1, falls on a Monday.

What is the Economic Survey?

The document details the country’s performance in the last one year. It also relays key challenges that lie ahead along with measures to deal with them. It essentially lays the groundwork for the presentation of Budget.

The survey puts out economic growth forecasts, giving out detailed reasons why it believes the economy will expand faster or decelerate.

The Economic Survey is a longstanding tradition that was first presented in 1950-51. Over the last few years, the Economic Survey has been presented in two volumes. The first volume typically outlines the challenges facing the Indian economy, while the second volume is generally a broad-based review of the year gone by. It also details major schemes run by the government as well as key policies and their outcomes.

What is its significance?

The flagship document not only puts in perspective the country’s economic condition but also analyses trends in money supply, agricultural and industrial production, infrastructure, prices, employment, exports, imports, foreign exchange reserves as well as other relevant economic factors, serving as a prequel to the Budget

The Economic Survey 2021 will be of particular significance as the country comes out of the pandemic-hit year. The First Advance estimates put out by the government suggests the economy may contract by 7.7 percent.

Despite implementing one of the strictest lockdowns followed by a plethora of measures to boost the economy, there are no official estimates or projection on the quantum of damage to the economy so far, an Indian Express report noted.

The Economic Survey may also outline plans to put the economy back on track to achieve the $ 5 trillion goals the government had set in 2019.