The country’s first Economic Survey was released in 1950-51. And for the next 14 years, it was presented with the Union Budget. The trend was discontinued in 1964. And since then, the Economic Survey has been preceding the budget. It is now released a day before the budget.
The Economic Survey sets the context for the Union Budget. It offers a glimpse into the trends in various sectors, like agricultural, industrial production, infrastructure, employment, money supply, prices, imports, exports.
The survey traditionally serves three purposes. First, it reviews the developments in the economy over the previous 12 months. Second, it summarises the performance of major development programmes.
And, third, it highlights the policy initiatives of the government.
The Chief Economic Advisor is the principal author of the Economic Survey. It is later approved by the Union finance minister. Since Arvind Subramanian took over as chief economic advisor (CEA), it became a two-volume report. This practice was continued by his successor, KV Subramanian.
The first volume contained chapters dealing with the future direction of the economy. This allowed the CEAs a large scope to explain their thoughts. Meanwhile, in simple terms, the second volume served as a list of developments in the Indian economy in the past year.
While the second volume deals with the state of the economy and its sectors with more emphasis on the immediate issues and statistical data.
However, according to a report, the 2021-22 Economic Survey might revert to one volume after eight years now.
Last year’s economic survey was conducted under the shadow of pandemic. And the theme of the survey was ‘Saving Lives and Livelihoods’. And this year’s survey may show some economic rebound.