Budget 2021

Right reform noises, but no indication of Govt’s thinking

KR Srivats New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017

Economic Survey does exhaustive stock taking of economy

If you were looking at the Economic Survey 2013-14 to provide some detailed cues on what Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will deliver in his maiden Budget speech on Thursday, you may be disappointed.

One thing that is coming out clearly in the new document — tabled in Lok Sabha — is that Jaitley as a key leader in the new Government may have had little imprint of his in shaping the message of the Economic Survey.

Part of the reason could be lack of time as its only 40 days since the new Government took charge. The other could be that past Finance Ministers — due to political reasons — have preferred not to take serious interests in the bold and unthinkable reforms proposed by the Department of Economic Affairs in the Economic Survey document.

Horribly wrong?

As for the economic growth projection in the latest Survey, the forecast of 5.4-5.9 per cent for 2014-15 is not all that exciting going by the recent track record of forecasts in Survey documents.

While the Economic Survey tabled in 2013 had pegged growth at between 6.1 and 6.7 per cent, the previous one had projected 2012-13 growth rate at 7.6 per cent.

For in both these financial years, the actual economic growth came at below-5 per cent levels. Other than the need for fiscal consolidation and new FRBM framework, there is not much in the latest Economic Survey to indicate the kind of priorities that the Modi-led Government has and the kind of actions it intends to take in Budget 2014-15,

Except the aspect of economic compulsion of fiscal discipline, no other sync could be expected between the thought process of policy actions of budget and the reformist views reflected in Economic Survey, said DK Srivastava, Chief Policy Advisor, EY.

But the latest Economic Survey does increase the aspirational quotient and is also stuffed with some dream measures that as on date did not form part of the new Government’s thinking.

Published on July 09, 2014

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