Guided by the dictum of "blue sky thinking", the Economic Survey 2018-19 released on Thursday laid out the ambitious agenda of applying principles of behavioural economics to achieve 8 per cent of sustained GDP growth to make India a $5-trillion economy by 2024-25. The Economic Survey 2018-19, tabled in Parliament, is the first for the new government, which came to power with an overwhelming mandate.
"With the aspirations that have been kindled among our predominantly young population, India stands at a historic moment when sustained high economic growth has become a national imperative," Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy V Subramanian said in his preface to the Economic Survey.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already laid down the vision of India becoming a $5-trillion economy by 2025. Imbued by the power of the opportunity that beckons, he said the team for Economic Survey 2018-19 has been guided by "blue sky thinking."
Blue sky thinking refers to an uninhibited approach to achieve goals.
"The Survey adopts an unfettered approach in thinking about the appropriate economic model for India. This endeavour is reflected in the sky blue cover of the Survey," the chief economic adviser said.
The sky blue cover design captures the idea of complementary inter-linkages between these macroeconomic variables using the pictorial description of several inter-linked gears.
The last survey prepared by former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian had a cover page in pink to show support for women empowerment from the finance ministry.
To achieve the vision of 'Economy@5trillion', India needs to shift its gears to accelerate and sustain a real GDP growth rate of 8 per cent, he said.
"The Survey departs from traditional thinking by viewing the economy as being either in a virtuous or a vicious cycle, and thus never in equilibrium."
"Rather than viewing the national priorities of fostering economic growth, demand, exports and job creation as separate problems, the Survey views these macroeconomic phenomena as complementary to each other," Mr Subramanian said. According to him, the cover design captures the idea of complementary inter-linkages between these macroeconomic variables using the pictorial description of several inter-linked gears.
The chief economic adviser further said that given the country's rich cultural and spiritual heritage, social norms play an important role in "shaping the behaviour of each one of us". Behavioural economics provides the necessary tools and principles to not only understand how norms affect behaviour but also to utilise these norms to effect behavioural change.
"The Survey, therefore, lays out an ambitious agenda for behavioural change by applying the principles of behavioural economics to several issues including gender equality, a healthy and beautiful India, savings, tax compliance and credit quality," he said.
Volume I of the Survey, which attempts to capture "blue sky thinking", provides evidence-based economic analyses of recent economic developments to enable informed policymaking.
Volume II reviews recent developments in the major sectors of the economy and is supported by relevant statistical tables and data.
This would serve as the ready reckoner for the existing status and policies in a sector, said the Survey, authored by a team led by the chief economic adviser.