All you want to know about Economic Survey
The first Economic Survey was reportedly presented for the financial year 1951-52 and since has been presented every year as a review of the economy by the government. Over the years, the Economic Survey has transformed from a mere representation of facts to a more suggestive document giving out advice.
What Is The Economic Survey?
The Economic Survey is a yearly report card of the economy put out by the Chief Economic Advisor. It is a comprehensive document that analyses important economic, financial and social developments over the year. Over the years, it has expanded to accommodate more sectors and include more of analytical content. From 362 pages in 2004-05, the survey has grown to a 459 page document in 2010-11 that included separate chapters on prices, financial intermediation, and service, reflecting their importance in the economic debate.
What Is The Significance Of The Survey?
In terms of information, the Survey has little usefulness as most of the data presented is already out in the public domain.
Its real significance is that it lays down the economic reforms agenda for the country and contains suggestions to the policymakers on the issues that dominate economic discourse. Tabled usually a day before the Union budget for the next fiscal is presented, it is expected that some of the suggestions in the Survey will find their way into the budget.
Has The Survey Lived Up To Its Role?
Though the Survey is tabled in Parliament by the finance minister, it largely reflects the views of the chief economic advisor. The reforms agenda laid out in the Survey is statement of what ought to do be done without actually going into their political considerations. This is largely the reason the ambitious reforms agenda included in the Survey documents year after year does not usually reflect in the budget presented the next day. But it does lay down the ground for informed debate on various economic issues.
(Updated - 25 Mar 2012)
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