EXPLAIN: The Annual Economic Survey of India

  • Before presenting the Union budget in parliament, the Indian government publishes the annual report Economic survey.
  • The economic survey sheds light on trends in different sectors and tracks the state of the country’s economic performance over the past year.
  • The Chief Economic Advisor is the author of the economic survey in India and is then approved by the Union Finance Minister.

In India, the Economic Survey prepares the reference framework for the Union budget. It facilitates an overview of the trends observed in different sectors over the previous year such as agriculture, manufacturing, employment, infrastructure, prices, exports, imports, foreign exchange reserves and money supply, for example.

Objectives of the Economic Study

The various objectives of the Economic Survey in India can be summarized under three headings:

  • Review of the country’s economic development over the past 12 months.
  • Summarize the performance of the country’s various development projects.
  • Highlight government policy initiatives.

The format of the economic survey

After Arvind Subramanian took over as the country’s Chief Economic Adviser (CEA), the Economic Survey became a two-volume report and his successor, KV Subramanian, continued the same trend.

The first volume usually contains chapters on the future development of the economy. Therefore, the first volume offers ACEs the opportunity to share their views. The second volume lists the economic developments of the country during the past year.

The main objective of the second volume is to explain the immediate economic problems facing the various sectors with the help of statistical data. It highlights major challenges anticipated as well as presumed solutions.

Trends and practices

The first economic survey was published in fiscal year (FY) 1950-1951. For the next 14 years, it was presented with the Union budget. From 1964 it preceded the budget and was published a day before the budget session in parliament.

According to some reports, the 2021-22 Economic Survey may return to its one-volume format after eight consecutive years.

Most likely, this year’s economic report could contain the key data for the year in different industry segments while leaving aside the policy prescriptions that are usually part of the main volume.

Why is the economic survey important?

The Economic Survey is one of the most important documents of the administration of the country. It takes on vital importance in financial planning as it contains information about the economic health of the country. He talks about the various economic factors that could affect the budget. This is an invaluable document for highlighting key concerns about the economy. The Economic Survey also examines the allocation of resources in the budget.

Is publication of the Economic Survey mandatory for the government?

The Indian Constitution does not oblige the government to present the economic study nor is it obliged to follow its recommendations. It is entirely up to the government to decide whether to adopt or reject the suggestions made in the Economic Survey. We can say that the Economic Survey is a kind of bulletin of the country’s economy and it also serves as a vehicle to promote economic reforms.

Where can I access the Economic Study?

The Economic Survey document is made available to the public in PDF format on the exclusive Union Budget website https://www.indiabudget.gov.in/ or on the Ministry of Financethe website of https://finmin.nic.in/.

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