Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey, the annual report of the Indian economy for the year 2018-19, in Rajya Sabha.
The survey has been prepared by Chief Economic Adviser Krishnamurthy Subramanian.
The Economic Survey serves as a useful policy document since it also contains policy ideas, key statistics on economic parameters and in-depth research on macro and sectoral trends.
Below are the highlights:
* GDP growth pegged at 7 pc in 2019-20, up from 6.8 pc last fiscal.
* Growth in current fiscal to be driven by investment, consumption.
* Sustained 8 pc growth needed to become a USD 5-trillion economy by 2024-25.
* Huge political mandate augurs well for growth prospects.
* Investment is the "key driver" of simultaneous growth in demand, jobs, exports & productivity.
* Green shoots in investment, visible pick-up in credit growth seen.
* Crude oil prices to decline in 2019-20, to push consumption.
* General government fiscal deficit seen at 5.8 pc in 2018-19, against 6.4 per cent last fiscal.
* Projects imports to grow at 15.4 per cent, exports at 12.5 pc for 2018-19.
* Projects 283.4 million tonne of foodgrain production in 2018-19.
* Foreign exchange reserves at USD 422.2 billion in June 2019.
* Suggests policies to unshackle MSMEs to grow, create jobs and enhance productivity.
* Calls for reorienting policies to promote young firms which have the potential to become big, rather than small MSME firms which remain small.
* Flags need to prepare for ageing of the population; this necessitates more healthcare investment, increasing retirement age in a phased manner.
* Highlights the immense potential of data of societal interest, says data should be "of the people, by the people, for the people".
* Legal reform, policy consistency, efficient labour markets and use of technology focus areas.
* Contract enforcement biggest constraint to improve Ease of Doing Business ranking; much of the problem is concentrated in the lower courts.
* Low pay and wage inequality remain serious obstacles towards achieving inclusive growth.
* Policy changes needed to lower overall lifetime ownership costs and make electric vehicles an attractive alternative to conventional vehicles.
* Survey recommends harmonised overarching National Policy on Resource Efficiency.