Here's everything you need to know about the Economic Survey:
The Economic Survey reviews the developments in Indian economy over the past financial year, highlights the policy initiatives of the government and economic prospects in the short and medium term.
It was first presented in the year 1950-51 and submitted in the Lok Sabha along with the Union Budget until the year 1964. In the year 1964, the survey began to be released a day before budget day and this practice has continued till date.
The Economic Division of the Department of Economic Affairs in the Finance Ministry prepares the Economic Survey under the overall guidance of the Chief Economic Adviser. It is scrutinized by the Finance Secretary and approved by the Finance Minister before being tabled in Parliament.
The first section of the Economic Survey is most crucial, in which the Chief Economic Advisor shares his perspective on the economy, provides insights on government's plans, delineates the policy challenges faced by the government and makes suggestions, as necessary.
In the next section, the survey analyses agricultural and industrial production, employment, money supply and trade, based on data gleaned from various departments and ministries of the government. It also highlights national income, production, services sector, social infrastructure and employment.
Not only that, the Economic Survey also makes a statement on issues of national and international importance such as climate change and gender conflict.
For example, the 2018-2019 Economic Survey was clothed in pink by then Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian to drive home the message of gender equality and gender-neutral policies.
In his first economic survey last year, Mr Subramanian had re-iterated the ambitious agenda of achieving 8 per cent sustained GDP growth to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25, as envisioned by PM Narendra Modi. But with growth slowing down in the past year, we would have to wait and see the prognosis offered by the Chief Economic Advisor in the upcoming Economic Survey.
It is not mandatory for the government to present the Economic Survey and its recommendations are not binding on the government either.
It has, however, become a common practice for every government to present the Economic Survey prior to the Union Budget. If not anything, economic survey makes economic policy and economic policy-making more accessible to the person on the street.