Economic Survey 2018 - An overview
Economic Survey 2017-18
About Economic Survey
- It is a flagship annual document of the Ministry of Finance
- It is presented in the parliament every year, just before the Union Budget.
- It is prepared by the Department of Economic Affairs (Ministry of Finance) of India under the guidance of the Chief Economic Adviser
- It reviews the overall state of the economy in the last 12 months and highlights the policy initiatives of the government and the prospects of the economy in the short to medium term.
- The First Economic Survey of India was presented for the year 1950-51. Until 1964, it was presented along with the Union Budget. However, from 1964 0nwards, it has been presented separately, ahead of the Union Budget.
About Economic Survey 2018
- Economic Survey 2018 was tabled in Parliament on 29th January, 2018 by the Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Shri Arun Jaitley.
- Economic Survey 2018 consists of two volumes, which, unlike last year, have been presented simultaneously
- Volume 1 contains the analytical overview and more research-cum-analytical material.
- Volume 2 provides the more descriptive review of the current fiscal year, encompassing all the major sectors of the economy.
- This Economic Survey has relied upon analysis of the new data to highlight ten new economic facts
Colour of Economic Survey 2018
- The colour of this year s survey cover is pink .
- The pink colour was chosen as a symbol of support for the growing movement to end violence against women, which spans continents.
Pertinent questions that Economic Survey 2018 discusses:-
- Can we expect the current investment slowdown to reverse quickly based on understanding other countries experience?
- Do second and third tier of governments collect the direct taxes that they are empowered to, and if not, what does that signify?
- On gender, why should we focus on the sex ratio of the last child? Under what conditions, to what extent, and where will the agricultural impact of climate change be most felt?
- Will there be a stall in India s four decades long, dynamic process of economic convergence?
- Should the government and judiciary agree to a Cooperative Separation of Powers like the centre and states do in the form of Cooperative Federalism to improve the conditions of doing business?
- Should there be a number of science and technology missions to propel India to the ranks of the world s top knowledge producers?
Overview of Economic Survey 2017-18
- The real GDP growth for 2017-18 is pegged at 6.75 percent. In its advance estimates, the government had estimated the growth rate to be 6.5%.
- The Economic Survey has predicted 7-7.5% growth rate in 2018-19 which is close to IMF s predicted rate for India s growth of 7.4% for the current fiscal year.
- Nominal GDP growth is estimated at 10.5 percent
- Gross Value of Added (GVA) at constant basic prices is estimated at 6.1 % in 2017-18, as compared to 6.6 % in 2016-17.
- Growth prediction for Agriculture & allied sector, Industry sector and Service sector for 2017-18 is estimated as 2.1 %, 4.4 % and 8.3 % respectively
- The survey points out that India can be rated as among the best performing economies in the world as the average growth during last three years is around 4 percentage points higher than global growth and nearly 3 percentage points higher than that of Emerging Market and Developing Economies (EMDEs).
Inflation, Current Account Deficit and Fiscal Deficit were all higher than expected
- Average CPI inflation for the first three quarters has averaged 3.2 % and is projected to be 3.7 % for the whole year 2017-18.
- The Headline inflation was below 4 % for twelve straight months, from November 2016 to October 2017, crossing 4% mark for the first time in November 2017, and subsequently posting a rate of 5.2 % in December 2017
- At the same time, Underlying inflation has been increasing at a more modest pace, reaching 4.3% at end-December.
- Food inflation in terms of the Consumer Food Price Index (CFPI) declined to 1.2 % during 2017-18 (Apr-Dec) from 5.1 % in 2016-17 (Apr-Dec).
- CPI-based core (non-food, non-fuel) inflation also declined to 4.5 % in 2017-18 (Apr-Dec) from 4.8 % in 2016-17 (Apr-Dec).
- Average inflation based on the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) stood at 2.9 % in 2017-18 (Apr-Dec) as compared to 0.7 % in 2016- 17 (Apr-Dec).
- The recent upswing in the rate of inflation was due to rising global oil prices, unseasonal increases in the prices of fruits and vegetables, and the 7th Pay Commission housing rent allowances
Current Account Deficit (CAD)
- The current account deficit has also widened in 2017-18
- CAD averages about 1.5-2 % of GDP for the year as a whole
- This current account deficit can be split into a manufacturing trade deficit, oil and gold deficit, a services deficit, and a remittances deficit
- While oil and gold deficit was at a comfortable level, the higher trade deficit ($18 billion) and a reduced services surplus ($37 billion) have caused deterioration in the economy s competitiveness.
- Despite these issues at hand, the overall external position remains within a comfortable zone as the current account deficit is well below the threshold limit of 3 % of GDP beyond which vulnerability emerges.
- The government had pegged the fiscal deficit target at 3.2 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the financial year 2017-18 but as per survey s prediction there is a probability of the Centre breaching the fiscal deficit target given in the Budget Estimates
- The Centre s fiscal deficit figure of Rs. 6.1 lakh crore has already overshot the budgeted figure of Rs. 5.5 lakh crore, largely because of a shortfall in non-tax revenue and increase in expenditure due to advancement of budget cycle
- In contrast, state governments seem to be proceeding along the path of the targeted fiscal consolidation mainly owing to the centre s guarantee of a large increase in their indirect tax take, via compensation cess as part of the GST agreement.
Relation between Government Market Borrowings and Fiscal Deficit
- There have been concerns that fiscal deficits of the general (central and state) government might be larger than targeted.
- But even if this does happen, this does not automatically mean that market borrowings will be greater than anticipated
- According to the survey, market borrowings do not necessarily reflect the underlying fiscal deficit
- This is because in India market borrowings are determined not just by the fiscal deficits the National Small Savings Fund (NSSF), a distinctive Indian arrangement.
- Under NSSF, the government gets deposits from the public in the form of various savings schemes which is independent of fiscal deficit induce borrowings
- Flows into NSSF are determined by their attractiveness due to high-interest rates and tax-free status
- Survey has given the identity (Net Market Borrowings = Fiscal Deficit - NSSF net flows), to explain the abovementioned relationship.
- This would mean that if NSSF net flow increases, for any given fiscal deficit, market borrowings should decline; and vice versa.
- Government measures to curb black money and encourage tax formalization, including demonetization and the GST, have increased personal income tax collections substantially from about 2 % of GDP between 2013-14 and 2015-16 to an estimated 2.3 % of GDP in 2017-18.
- The growth in direct tax collections of the Centre kept pace with the previous year, with a growth of 13.7 %
- The budgeted growth for indirect taxes for the full year 2017-18 is 7.6 %; the actual growth till November is 18.3 %.
- The eventual outcome in indirect taxes during this year will depend on the final settlement of GST accounts between the Centre and the States
- Direct tax collections in India is significantly lower than other federal countries
- As a matter of fact, centre s tax-GDP ratio is no higher than it was in the 1980s, despite a very high growth
- Income tax net in India includes only about 59.3 million individual taxpayers
- However, there has been a large increase in registered indirect and direct taxpayers in the demonetization-GST period
- There has been an addition of about 1.8 million in individual income tax filers since November 2016 (post-demonetization)
- The roll-out of GST has resulted in a 50% increase in unique indirect taxpayers under the GST compared with the pre-GST system . This translates to a substantial 3.4 million new indirect taxpayers .
Savings and Investment
- Savings in an economy originate from households, private corporate sector and public sector in these, the Household sector accounts for the bulk of the savings.
- The data for gross savings is not available beyond 2015-16.
- The share of household savings in total savings declined from around 68 % in 2011-12 to 59 % in 2015-16.
- Public savings that declined from 1.5 % of GDP in 2011-12 to 0.9 % in 2014-15, however, increased again in 2015-16 to 1.3 %.
- The share of the private corporate sector in the total savings increased from 9.5 % of GDP in 2011-12 to about 12 % of GDP in 2015-16.
- There has been a consistent reduction in investment rate from close to 39 % in 2011-12 to 33.3 % in 2015-16
- The investment rate of the public sector (including general government) consistently declined from 2011-12 to 2014-15. However, it increased to 7.5 % of GDP in 2015-16.
- The share of the private corporate sector in total investment increased from 36 % in 2011-12 to 41 % in 2015-16 and it has become largest sector for investment in the economy, replacing the household sector.
- The investment of household sector declined by nearly 5 percentage points from 15.9 % of GDP in 2011-12 to 10.9 % of GDP in 2015-16
Trade Import & Export
- The year 2016-17 was characterized by positive growth in exports after two years of negative growth.
- Similarly, imports also saw a positive growth in 2016-17 after three years of negative growth.
- There was a large reduction in imports value between 2012-13 and 2016-17 mainly due to a reduction in value of imports of crude oil and petroleum products and reduction in gold and silver imports
- In 2017-18 (April December) export growth is estimated to be 12.1 percent
- India s export volume growth is also in a positive territory
- The total expenditure of the Government increased by 14.9 percent during 2017-18 (Apr-Nov), as compared to 12.6 percent in the same period of the previous year.
- The revenue expenditure grew by 13.1 percent and capital expenditure by 29.3 percent during the first eight months of the current year.
Performance of the Banking sector
- The performance of the banking sector, and in particular the Public Sector Banks, continued to remain poor in the current financial year.
- The gross non-performing advances (GNPA) ratio of Scheduled Commercial Banks increased from 9.6 percent to 10.2 percent between March 2017 and September 2017.
- India s stock of long-term external debt increased by 5.1 percent to US$ 495.7 billion at end-September 2017 from end-March, 2017, primarily due to the increase in foreign portfolio investment (FPI) included under commercial borrowings.
- Short-term debt grew by 5.4 percent, mainly due to an increase in trade-related credits.
- Share of Government (Sovereign) debt in total debt increased to 21.6 percent at end- September 2017 from 19.4 percent at end-March 2017
- India s foreign exchange reserve was US$ 409.4 billion on December 29, 2017
- There was a growth of 14.1 % on a Year-on-Year basis from end-December 2016
- The foreign exchange reserves were US$ 413.8 billion on 12th January 2018.
- The real per capita income (measured in terms of per capita net national income at constant (2011-12) prices is expected to increase from Rs. 77,803 in 2015-16 to Rs. 86,660 in 2017-18,
- This shows an average annual growth rate of 5.5 %.
- The nominal per capita income increased from Rs. 94,130 in 2015-16 to Rs. 111,782 in 2017-18.
- There was an average annual growth of 9.0 % in nominal per capita income
- India s Balance of Payment situation continues to remain benign
- The average value of rupee has appreciated with respect to US$ in 2017-18 with some fluctuations in September and October 2017.
- As many of the factors exerting a drag on growth over the past year are finally easing off, Private investment seems ready to pick up
Agriculture and Allied Sector
- The process of development, inter-alia, generally results in a decline in the share of agriculture in GVA, which is currently happening in India.
- The share of agriculture and allied sectors in GVA declined from 18.2 percent in 2012-13 to 16.4 percent in 2017-18 (1st AE).
- The agriculture sector has also been witnessing a gradual structural change in recent years. The share of livestock in GVA of agriculture has been rising since 2011-12, while that of the crop sector has been declining.
- India achieved a record foodgrains production of 275.7 million tonnes during 2016-17.
- According to United States Geological Survey, 2017, India was ranked first, with 9.6 percent (179.8 Mha) of the global net cropland area.
- Hence, there is a tremendous potential in India for crop diversification and to make farming a sustainable and profitable economic activity.
- The All India percentage of net irrigated area to total cropped area was 34.5 percent in 2014-15, which makes a large part of agriculture in India dependent on rainfall.
- Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayee Yojana (PMKSY) is being implemented in India to boost irrigation
- Also as per NSSO report, insurance penetration in agriculture remains very low. Hence, there is a need to raise awareness about crop insurance among agricultural households.
- In this context, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana (PMFBY) is being implemented to increase crop insurance
- As per the Index of Industrial Production (IIP) (the base year 2011-12), the industrial output increased by 3.2 percent during April-November 2017-18 in comparison to the same period in previous year.
- This increase was due to growth in electricity generation at 5.2 percent and growth in mining and manufacturing sectors at 3.0 percent and 3.1 percent respectively.
- The eight Core industries attained a cumulative growth of 3.9 percent during April-November 2017-18 over the corresponding period of previous year.
- These core industries have a total weight of nearly 40 percent in the IIP and include coal, crude oil, natural gas, petroleum refinery products, fertilizers, steel, cement and electricity
- India has leapt 30 ranks over its previous rank of 130 in the World Bank s latest Doing Business Report 2018. Moody s Investors Service has also raised India s rating from the lowest investment grade of Baa3 to Baa2.
- This has been made possible due to a host of measures undertaken by the Government including implementation of GST, Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, and announcement of bank recapitalization.
- The services sector continued to be the key driver of India s economic growth
- Its share in GVA for 2017-18 was 55.2 % and it is expected to contribute 72.5 of GVA growth in 2017-18
- India remained the eighth largest exporter of commercial services in the world in 2016 (WTO, 2017) with a share of 3.4 percent, which is double the share of India s merchandise exports in the world.
- India s services export growth returned to positive territory with 5.7 percent growth in 2016-17
- The tourism sector has performed robustly with 8.8 million Foreign Tourist Arrivals (FTAs) in 2016. It also continues to be a good source of FOREX earnings
- Outbound tourism has also picked up in recent years
- India s IT industry grew by 8.1 percent in 2016-17. However, as per the RBI data, software exports contracted by 0.7 percent in 2016-17.
- India s gross expenditure on R&D has been low at just around 1 percent of GDP. India currently ranks 60th out of 127 on the Global Innovation Index (GII) 2017
- India s share in global satellite launch services revenue has increased in recent years with it being a good source of FOREX earnings
- Assessments of the employment challenge are hampered by a lack of timely data. Centre has authorized the NITI Aayog to provide new guidelines for a comprehensive survey of employment
- Formal employment can be defined in at least two senses. First, when employers are providing some kind of social security to their employees. Second, when firms are part of the tax net.
- From a social security perspective, formal employment amounts to 6 crores. If we add an estimated 1.5 crore government workers (excluding defence) to this, final figure for formal employment comes out to be a total of 7.5 crores.
- According to the 68th Round (2011) of the NSSO Employment-Unemployment Survey, the non-agricultural workforce is estimated at 24 crores
- Formal employment under this definition is equivalent to 31 percent of the non-agricultural workforce.
- From a tax perspective, formal employment is 11.2 crores; adding government employment yields a total count of 12.7 crores.
- This implies that nearly 54 percent of the non-agricultural workforce is in the formal sector.
Demonetization and GST effect
- According to the Survey, the demonetization and GST effects on the economy are receding
- On demonetization specifically, the cash-to- GDP ratio has stabilized, suggesting a return to equilibrium. Since about June 2017 the trend in currency is identical to that pre-demonetization
- As per survey, revenue collection under the GST is doing well and the GST promises to be a buoyant source of future revenues.
Rise in crude oil price
- Commodity prices increased smartly in 2017, led by petroleum, whose price rose by 16 percent to reach $61 per barrel by the end of the year.
- Average crude oil (Indian basket) prices have risen by around 14 % so far in 2017-18 (mid January 2018) vis- -vis 2016-17.
- As per IMF forecast, average oil prices are estimated to be about 12 % higher in 2018-19
- Persistently high oil prices (at current levels) remain a key risk.
- They could cause macroeconomic vulnerability in India, affecting inflation, the current account, the fiscal position and growth.
- According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the global economy is experiencing recovery. Although rebounding, global growth is still well below levels reached in the 2000s.
- In 2017, roughly three-quarters of countries experienced improvements in their growth rates
- As per the latest World Economic Outlook (WEO) of the IMF, global GDP growth rate was 3.6 % in 2017. The forecast for 2018 has been upgraded by 0.2 percentage points to 3.9 %.
- The reason behind the global recovery was growth in the volume of trade in goods and services in 2017 and commodity producers such as Russia, Brazil, and Saudi Arabia, have benefitted from the upswing in demand.
- Despite growth and recovery, the monetary policy in advanced countries remains stimulative with low-interest rates due to low inflation persisting in these countries.
- The acceleration of global growth and recovery seems poised to provide a solid boost to export demand in India.
- India will need about USD 4.5 trillion in the next 25 years for infrastructure development, of which it will be able to garner about USD 3.9 trillion
- There was massive underinvestment in the sector owing to collapse of Public Private Partnership (PPP) especially in power and telecom projects, stressed balance sheet of private companies and issues related to land & forest clearances
- Survey emphasized on the need to fill the infrastructure investment gap by financing from private investment, institutions dedicated to infrastructure financing like AIIB, NDB etc.
- Government is focused at building new National Highways (NHs) and also converting State Highways into National Highways
- As of September 2017, the length of roadways comprises 115,530 km of NHs along with 1,76,166 km of state highways and 53,26,166 km of other roads.
- To expedite completion of delayed projects, various steps have been taken for streamlining of land acquisition & environment clearances.
- The survey has placed special emphasis on Bharatmala Pariyojana for a holistic highway development.
- The pace of commissioning Broad Gauge (BG) lines and completion of electrification has been accelerated.
- 425 Km of metro rail systems are operational and about 684 km are under construction in various cities across India as on December 2017.
- There was a slight increase in cargo traffic handled at major ports in 2017-18 over 2016-17
- Under the Sagarmala Programme, multiple projects worth Rs. 2.17 lakh crore are under various stages of implementation
- The programmes including Bharat Net and Digital India aim at converting India into a digital economy.
- At the end of September 2017, the number of telecom services subscribers stood at 1207 million
- 502 million connections were in the rural areas and
- 705 million connections were in the urban areas.
- In April September 2017 there was a growth of16 per cent in passenger traffic of domestic airlines over the corresponding period of previous year. Government is taking
- Government is taking initiatives like liberalization of air services, airport development and regional connectivity through UDAN scheme.
- All-India installed power generation capacity reached 330,861 MW as on November 30, 2017.
- The Ujjawal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) has focused on enhancing the financial health of DISCOMs
- A new scheme, Saubhagya (Pradhan Mantri Sahaj Bijli Har Ghar Yojana), was launched in September 2017 to ensure electrification of all remaining willing households in the country in rural and urban areas.
Expenditure on social infrastructure
- The all India expenditure on social services as a percentage of GDP has increased from 5.8 percent in 2015-16 to 6.6 percent in 2017-18 (BE).
- The expenditure on social services as a percentage of GSDP for 29 States also indicates an upward trend from 6 percent to 6.9 percent during the three years (i.e. from 2014-15 to 2016-17(BE)).
- Most of the States have registered an increase in the percentage of schools complying with the PTR (Pupil Teacher Ratio) norms as per Right to Education (RTE).
- The GPI (Gender Parity Index) reflects disparity of girls vis-a-vis boys in access to education
- Programmes like Beti Padhao, Beti Bachao, have helped in the improvement of GPI at the primary and secondary levels of enrolment.
- However, in higher education, gender disparities still prevail in enrolment
- The report India: Health of the Nation s States , 2017 has for the first time provided a comprehensive set of findings on the distribution of diseases and risk factors across all States of the country from 1990 to 2016.
- Of the total disease burden in India, 33 percent was due to communicable, maternal, neonatal, and nutritional diseases
- The contribution of non-communicable diseases has increased from 30 percent of the total disease burden in 1990 to 55 percent in 2016
- Around 5 percent of health loss is attributable to unsafe water, sanitation etc. which the government is trying to address through the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM).
- As per baseline survey conducted by Ministry of Drinking Water & Sanitation, 55 crore persons were defecating in open in October 2014, which declined to 25 crores in January 2018
Sustainable Development, Energy and Climate Change
Sustainable Development Goals
- India presented its first Voluntary National Review (VNR) on the implementation of SDGs on 19th July 2017 at the High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) at United Nations, New York.
- The VNR report is based on an analysis of progress under various programmes and initiatives in the country.
Urban India and Sustainable Development
- The SDG 11 states make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable .
- To achieve this target it is important to ensure the provision of public services by the cities to its residents. However, cost remains a huge barrier in this context
- Therefore, Survey recommends encouraging the ULBs to raise resources through various innovative financial instruments such as municipal bonds, PPPs, credit risk guarantees, etc.
Access to Sustainable Energy
- A large number of people in India still lack access to clean cooking fuels
- The government of India had launched Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) in May, 2016.
- Another scheme Ujjwala Plus has been introduced for cooking needs of deprived people who are not covered under the Socio-Economic Caste Census (SECC) 2011
- During 2016-17, 3.25 crore new LPG connections were released that includes 2 crore connections released under PMUY.
- The government of India is committed to provide 24X7 reliable and quality power supply to all its consumers by 2019.
- In this context, Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana (DDUGJY) scheme and Saubhagya Scheme have been introduced to fulfil this objective
- Out of 18.1 crores rural household in the country, 14.2 crores (78%) rural households have been electrified (as on January 16, 2018).
- Out of the total installed capacity of electricity in India, around 18 percent was from renewable energy sources (as on November 30, 2017).
- International Solar Alliance (ISA) entered into force on December 6, 2017.
India and Climate Change
- At the 23rd session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 23), the Parties advanced the work programme under Paris Agreement.
- Important takeaways for India from COP 23 have been that the agenda of pre-2020 climate change commitments and implementation has found a significant place in COP 23 outcome in the form of a decision with steps for future action on pre-2020 action and ambition
Science and Technology
- For the first time, Economic Survey has included a chapter on Science and Technology
- Survey has pointed out that India under-spends on research and development (R&D), even relative to its level of development.
- Survey has recommended a doubling of R&D spending. However, much of this increase should come from the private sector and universities
- It is also important for India to gradually move from net consumer to net producer of knowledge
- Survey has also recommended that India should leverage artificial intelligence, blockchain for future growth
Ease of Doing Business
- India moved up 30 places from previous year to break into the top 100 of EODB for the first time in the World Bank s Ease of Doing Business Report (EODB), 2018.
- It was result of widespread reforms by government
- The survey mentions the next frontier on the ease of doing business is addressing pendency, delays and backlogs in the appellate and judicial arenas.
- Survey has recommended dedicated benches at high courts for tax disputes
- Cooperation between government and judiciary is of paramount importance to address Law s delay and to boost economic activity.
- Survey has pointed out that Indian society exhibits strong son Meta Preference. Parents continue to have children until they get the desired number of sons, resulting in skewed sex ratios
- The skewed sex ratio in favour of males led to the identification of missing women.
- Survey points out India s performance improved on 14 out of 17 indicators of women s agency, attitudes, and outcomes.
- On 7 of them, the improvement has been such that India s situation is comparable to that of a cohort of countries after accounting for levels of development.
- In India, the gender gap in labour force participation rate is more than 50 percentage points
- Survey places special emphasis on programmes such as Beti Bachao, Beti Padhao and Sukanya Samridhi Yojana schemes, and mandatory maternity leave rules for gender empowerment
Headline Inflation - It gives a measure of the total inflation within an economy, including commodities such as food and energy prices (e.g., oil and gas), and tend to be much more volatile and prone to inflationary spikes.
Core Inflation - Core inflation is thought to be an indicator of underlying long-term inflation. Core inflation excludes food and energy prices.
International Solar Alliance (ISA) - ISA is a coalition of solar resource-rich countries that fall fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and aims to meet their energy needs by harnessing solar energy. ISA was launched by Shri Narendra Modi, Hon ble Prime Minister of India and Mr. Fran ois Hollande, former President of France on November 30, 2015 in Paris. ISA is also the first International inter-governmental treaty-based organization headquartered in India.