India is set to deviate from its usual practice of presenting the Economic Survey on January 31, with Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman opting to deliver an interim budget, or a vote-on-account, on February 1, 2024.
The Economic Survey is a comprehensive annual report analysing the performance of the Indian economy over the past year and offering insights into its prospects. It is typically presented by the Chief Economic Advisor (CEA) in the lead-up to the Union Budget, providing a critical backdrop for the government’s financial plans.
The decision is attributed to the fact that 2024 is an election year in India, and presenting the customary economic survey could potentially be politicised, given the impending change in government post-elections. This deviation aims to maintain a smooth transition for the regular budget process.
In lieu of the Economic Survey, a report titled “Indian Economy – A Review” has been released. This document, prepared by the office of Chief Economic Advisor V Anantha Nageswaran, offers a comprehensive analysis of the Indian economy over the past decade and provides insights into its future prospects. It is explicitly stated that this report does not substitute the official Economic Survey, which is anticipated to be presented after the general elections and the formation of the new government.
According to the “Indian Economy – A Review” report, India is anticipated to emerge as a $5 trillion economy within the next three years and has the potential to further expand to $7 trillion by the year 2030. The report outlines that in the fiscal year 2024, India is poised to surpass a robust GDP growth rate of 7.2 per cent, surpassing the global economy’s struggle to achieve a growth rate exceeding 3 per cent.
The report also forecasts a consistent growth trend for the Indian economy, projecting a 7 per cent growth rate in 2024 for the third consecutive year. Additionally, it highlights India’s significant position as the world’s third-largest fintech economy, trailing only behind the United Kingdom and the United States in this rapidly evolving sector.