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Economic Survey 2017 to be tabled in Parliament today

The Economic Survey to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday is expected to highlight the impact of the November 8 demonetisation exercise and also lay out the road map for the current fiscal

union budget Updated: Jan 31, 2017 10:17 IST
Mahua Venkatesh
Mahua Venkatesh
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Economic Survey,Budget Session,Parliament
The Economic Survey report to be tabled in Parliament on Tuesday is expected to highlight the impact of the note-ban. (Satyabrata Tripathy/ Hindustan Times)

The government will unveil its Economic Survey on Tuesday amid signs of a slowdown of the Indian economy following the radical decision to withdraw high-value banknotes that was billed as a surgical strike on illicit cash and counterfeiting.

The survey, an annual report card on the country’s financial health, will be tabled in Parliament by finance minister Arun Jaitley a day before he presents what is said to be his most challenging Union budget so far.

Coming within three months of Prime Minister Narendra Modi shock demonetisation announcement on November 8, the survey is expected to highlight the impact of the note-ban on the economy besides spelling out growth projections for the next financial year.

It remains to be seen whether or not India still remains a “bright spot” after the economy stumbled due to the sudden withdrawal of Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes.

Earlier, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) pegged India’s GDP growth at 7.1% for 2016-17. But sources said economic data for December would be the deciding factor for computing the number for the full financial year and a more realistic figure could be highlighted in the survey.

While the growth figure for the current financial year may not be encouraging, sources said the growth projections for 2017-18 will be buoyant.

It will also be interesting to note the Economic Survey’s prescription for the fiscal consolidation roadmap.

While the fiscal deficit target for the current financial year has been fixed at 3.5%, it would be crucial to note whether the survey prescribes relaxing the target. More so in view of the NK Singh committee’s recommendations for adhering to a fiscal deficit range instead of a single target.

The annual report card is also expected to not only focus on the rural and export sectors, especially in the wake of the demonetisation exercise but also highlight the country’s banking sector.

In the previous survey, chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian had highlighted the challenges arising from the twin balance sheet problems of impaired financial positions of the public sector banks. It said Rs 1.8 lakh crore was required by government-run banks by 2018-19 as a recapitalisation amount.

The survey also underlined the need to reduce “bounties” of the well offs and said rationalisation and better targeting of subsidies will be crucial in carrying out fiscal consolidation. The survey had pointed out that a major chunk of “bounties” is being enjoyed mostly by the country’s well off.

First Published: Jan 31, 2017 09:14 IST