Union finance minister Arun Jaitley on 31 January 2017 tabled the Economic Survey 2016-17 in Parliament budget session. The Economic Survey 2016-2017 will be followed by the Union Budget for this year.
The Economic Survey projects the official version of the state of the economy and is generally presented in Parliament a day before the presentation of the annual Budget. It acts as a precursor to the budget. It discusses the outlook, prospects and challenges of the economy while recommending reform measures that are essential to propel and thrive the economy.
The recommendations in the Economic Survey serve only as a policy guide as the government is not bound to follow them.
This year’s Economic Survey is authored by Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian.
Universal Basic Income (UBI):
The Economic Survey has proposed a Universal Basic Income (UBI) that ensures every citizen has a right to a minimum income to cover their basic needs as a long-term solution to reduce poverty in the country. UBI can replace several subsidy-based social welfare schemes, the survey said.
Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian, has even calculated the UBI for 2016-17—Rs. 7,620—though UBI is still a concept. However, the government might consider to turn it into policy given the emphasis on cash-transfer infrastructure.
- GDP could grow 6.50-6.75% this fiscal on account of demonetization, significantly lower than 7.6% growth the country had achieved in 2015-16.
- GDP growth for FY18 to be in range of 6.75% to 7.5%.
- Growth rate at constant market prices for the current year 2016/17 is placed at 7.1 per cent.
- Service sector is estimated to grow at 8.9 per cent in 2016/17
- Industrial growth rate expected to moderate to 5.2 per cent in 2016/17 from 7.4 per cent in 2015/16
- Farm sector to grow at 4.1 per cent this fiscal, up from 1.2 per cent last year.
- India has attained the fourth position globally in installed wind power capacity after China, US and Germany as a result of various steps in the “right” direction.
- Government debt to GDP ratio in 2016 seen at 68.5 per cent down from 69.1 per cent in 2015
- India’s external debt declined from March 2016 by USD 0.8 billion to USD 484.3 billion in September 2016.
- Indirect taxes grew by 26.9 per cent during April-November 2016.
- Universal basic income (UBI) would cost between 4 and 5 per cent of GDP.