By Anjana Das
New Delhi, April 29 (IANS) The themes for the upcoming Economic Survey are still in the works, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy V. Subramanian said on Monday.
“Themes for the Economic Survey are still developing, so I cannot talk about it now,” Subramanian told IANS in response to a query if the Survey would suggest ways to improve the lot of farmers.
Sources said the upcoming Survey is likely to focus on addressing unemployment, capital formation, demand and investment push besides raising farmers’ incomes through higher support prices.
The Economic Survey, which many see as a reflection of the policies to come, may centre around key triggers like consumption, unemployment, capital formation, demand and investment which have caused red flags in the past and will also cause similar issues in the current fiscal with the economy slowing down its growth, sources said.
The CEA would present his first Survey in July this year after the elections. There is a lot of expectation from the India Inc from this economic document whose suggestions are not mandatory on the government but are keenly watched and noted.
Krishnamurthy would be presenting the survey amidst widespread esitmates by agencies on India’s GDP growth slowing down though it woud be broadly 7 per cent.
Reports of unemployment, slow capital formation and investment activity, low private investment and acute farming crisis led by low prices have been causing warning signs on the economy front.
Both the Asian Development Board and the Reserve Bank of India had earlier this month cut their 2019-20 growth projection for India to 7.2 per cent from 7.4 per cent, blaming the rising risks to global economic growth as well as weakening domestic investment activity.
India is expected to grow at 7.3 per cent in 2019-20 and 7.5 per cent in 2020-21, the IMF said in its latest World Economic Outlook report, which is a downward revision from its outlook released in January by 20 basis points for each year.
The Indian economy grew at 6.6 per cent in the December quarter, the slowest in five quarters which prompted the CSO to trim its 2018-19 forecast to 7 per cent in February from 7.2 per cent estimated the previous month.
Sources said the survey would give some ideas to improve the current state of farmers who are incurring loss from low prices and may suggest more time for repayment of loans in case of low yield from the crops. It could also induce discipline for timely repayment of short-term crop loans where it may suggest a higher Interest Subvention Scheme for prompt repayment.
The Survey may also suggest higher MSPs for all the key crops of both Kharif and Rabi. Under the current practice, the government fixes Minimum Support Price (MSP) for both Kharif and Rabi crops on the recommendations of the Commission on Agriculture Costs & Prices (CACP).
(Anjana Das can be contacted at [email protected])