New Delhi: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on January 29 tabled the Economic Survey 2021 in the Lok Sabha, after President Ram Nath Kovind’s customary address at the start of the Budget Session 2021, following which the House was adjourned till Monday.
The Union Budget will be presented by FM Sitharaman on 1 February, when both the houses will debate on the Motion of thanks to the President’s address after the budget presentation.
The budget session for 2021 begun in Parliament amid much uproar with as many as 18 opposition parties announcing their decision to corner the government and boycott President Kovind’s address following issues like farmers protest, handling of coronavirus crisis, recession, jobs, Ladakh border row, and the WhatsApp chat leaks of journalist Arnab Goswami, as per reports.
To note, the address, the first of the decade, was boycotted by 18 out of 20 opposition parties in solidarity of protesting farmers. The members of both the Houses are seated in three different locations for the first time in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Highlights of the Economic Survey 2020-21 presented by the FM:
–India real GDP growth for FY22 is expected to expand by 11 per cent, making it one of the nations to bounce back strongly from the COVID-19 pandemic. (This prediction concurs with the estimates of the RBI– 7.5 percent contraction, and the Central Statistics Office–7.7 percent contraction.)
–Combined fiscal deficit to exceed target in FY21
–The Economic Survey 2020-21, authored by a team led by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Venkata Subramanian, details the state of different sectors of the economy as well as reforms that should be undertaken to accelerate growth.
–The crashed down economy of India, which was battered by the coronavirus lockdown, is expected recovery strongly in the 2021-22 fiscal year, driven by government consumption
–The gross domestic product (GDP) contracted by a record 23.9 per cent in April-June and by 7.5 per cent in the second quarter.
–For the full fiscal year 21, the survey projected gross domestic product (GDP) to contract by 7.7 per cent and V-shaped recovery in the next. The survey is likely to outline plans to put the economy back on track to achieve the $5 trillion goal that was set in 2019.
–As per the Economic Survey, India’s sovereign credit rating does not reflect its fundamentals.
“Never in the history of sovereign credit ratings has the 5th largest economy been rated as the lowest rung of investment grade (BBB -). India’s fiscal policy must not remain beholden to a noisy, biased measure of India’s fundamentals. India’s forex reserves can cover an additional 2.8 standard deviation negative event. It is imperative that sovereign credit rating methodology be made more transparent, less subjective,” the document reportedly stated.
Meanwhile, the Rajya Sabha will reconvene at 3 pm.
– President Ram Nath Kovind, apprises the importance of Parliament meet amid Covid-19 outbreak, “Joint session of Parliament amid Coronavirus pandemic is essential. It’s a new year and a new decade and we’re also entering into the 75th year of Independence. Today, all MPs are present here with message and trust that however tough be the challenge neither we nor India will stop.”
– “I am satisfied that the timely decision taken by my Government saved the lives of lakhs of citizens. Today the number of new Covid-19 cases is going down rapidly.”
-“It is a matter of pride that India is running the biggest vaccination program in the world. Both vaccines of this program are made in India. In this crisis, India shouldered its responsibility towards mankind and provided lakhs of doses of vaccines to several nations.”
-Aatmanirbhar Bharat isn’t just confined to manufacturing in India but also aimed at elevating standard of living of every Indian. “The focus of ‘Aatmnirbhar Bharat’ is also on the farm sector. The government has decided to give MSP according to Swaminathan recommendation.”
-To help small and marginal farmers, the government has transferred around ₹1,13,000 crores directly to their accounts, under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi.
-“Small and marginal farmers are also a priority for my Govt. To support such farmers in their small expenses, have been transferred directly to their accounts, under PM-Kisan Samman Nidhi.”
-Condemning the violent protest on Republic day, he said, “The National Flag and a holy day like Republic Day were insulted in the past few days. The Constitution that provides us Freedom of Expression, is the same Constitution that teaches us that law and rules have to be followed seriously.”
– Restoring farmers’ believe in Centre’s three farm laws, he asserted, “My govt would like to clarify that the rights and facilities that were available before the formation of the three Farm Laws have not been cut short, in fact with these new agricultural reforms the Govt has provided new facilities and rights to farmers.”
-Remembering the Galwan valley attack, President said, “20 jawans made the supreme sacrifice in Galwan valley in June 2020. Every citizen is grateful to these martyrs. My Govt is committed to the protection of the interests of the nation. Extra Forces have been deployed at LAC for protection of India’s sovereignty.”
-He also talked about situation in northeast parts of India, “Extremism in the northeast is heading towards its end, the incidents of violence are declining. The youth that had gone astray is returning to the mainstream of development and nation-building.”
– On Corona pandemic impact on India’s economy, he said, “The nation is recovering from the damage that the economy suffered while saving the life of every Indian during the Corona period. Even in this difficult time, India has emerged as an attractive destination for global investors.”
-Taking the customary address to the joint sitting of Parliament forward on the first day of the Budget session, Prez Kovind condemned the Republic day violence calling it “very unfortunate” and the “insult” to the tricolour.
-The joint session of Parliament with Covid-19 measures in place, kicked off by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s speech where he appealed to the Members of Parliament to make the session productive. He also said that the budget should be seen as a continuation of measures announced in 2020.
Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha Chairman M Venkaiah Naidu has taken a Corona virus test ahead of the Budget session. In view of this deadly virus, other members of parliament too have been requested to undergo an RT-PCR test before the start of the Budget session.
The Budget session of Parliament will be conducted in two phases following Covid-19 protocols; the first part will be from 29 January-15 February while the second part will run from March 8 to April 8.
To note, the first Economic Survey was presented in 1960-51 and until 1964, it was released at the time of tabling of the Budget. While, it is a crucial document that provides an extensive official version of the government’s take on the economic condition of the country, but in reality, the government is not constitutionally bound to present the Economic Survey or to follow the recommendations made in it.
Furthermore, the Economic Survey 2021, which has been presented in the Parliament Joint session today, couple of days before Budget for FY22, is approved by the finance minister after the document is prepared.