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Economic Survey 2022-23 was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (Photo/ANI)
Economic Survey 2022-23 was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday (Photo/ANI)

Navigating journey looking at rear view mirror: P Chidambaram on Economic Survey

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2023 00:55 IST

New Delhi [India], February 1 (ANI): Opposition leaders on Tuesday termed as 'misleading' the Centre's fiscal assessment in the Economic Survey for 2022-23, with senior Congress leader and former Union Finance minister P Chidambaram saying it was authored by someone navigating a journey looking at the rear view mirror.
Opposition leaders said the Centre was ' misleading' people with its claim that the growth rate increased by 6.5 per cent in real terms in the financial year 2022-23.
The Economic Survey for the Financial Year 2022-23 was tabled by Union Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman in the Parliament on Tuesday.
The Economic Survey said India's economic recovery from the Covid pandemic is complete and the economy is expected to grow in the range of 6 per cent to 6.8 per cent in the financial year 2023-24. This is in comparison to 7 per cent this fiscal and 8.7 per cent in 2021-22.
To the government's claim on the state of the economy in the report, Chidambaram said, "The Economic Survey seems to have been authored by someone who is navigating the journey looking only at the rear view mirror. The navigator (CEA) should have looked at the path ahead through the windshield and cautioned the driver (FM) on the pitfalls and how to negotiate them."
He said in paragraphs 1.30 and 1.31, the Survey lists all the warning signals but does not list the options available to the government on averting those dangers
"There is insufficient acknowledgement of three stark facts: that world growth and world trade will slow down in 2023-24; that many advanced economies will go into a recession; and that the global security situation will deteriorate," he further said.
Chidambaram added, "If all three materialise, the ES is silent about how to manage the Indian economy I wish the CEA had stepped outside North Block and taken an objective view of the economic situation."
Congress leader Rashid Alvi said that since the BJP government has come to power, the calculation of GDP has changed, adding that the economy was in a bad state.
"The nation's economic condition is very bad. Since the BJP government has come to power, the calculation of GDP has changed and the same had been said by (former PM) Manmohan Singh in Parliament. This government is misleading people by saying that the growth rate is increasing. This is the reality today in the nation that weather it is Governor or anyone, they only speak the language that makes the BJP government and the RSS happy. They do not care about their responsibility, which is to protect the constitution," said Alvi.
The Congress leader added that he wasn't hopeful of the government preparing a Budget keeping the interests of famers and the poor in mind. He added that the President's address to the joint sitting of the Parliament did not have any thing about the poor, unemployed, and the minorities.
Congress MP Randeep Singh Surjewala said bluster and lofty words of "all is well" won't make an "unwell economy" well.
"The four drivers of the economy -- consumption, exports, manufacturing and private investment, Capex remain largely unaddressed, especially first three. Actually, zero vision on first three. Bluster and lofty words of 'all is well' won't make an 'unwell economy' well," he said.
Surjewala claimed that under Modi government, GDP growth had declined in 8 quarters before Covid hit the country. He added that India's 1st Covid case was reported in January 2020 but the country's GDP growth in 2019-20 was just 3.7 per cent.
He added that the Economic Survey predicts a GDP growth rate of just 6.5 per cent, which is worse than last year.
"Job Creation is the single biggest issue affecting the economy. Unemployment is at a 45 years high at 8.3% in December 2022. It means 35 Cr are unemployed. 30 Lakh vacancies exist in Govt Depts & Ministries. Where is Investment & Jobs?" he said.
Congress leader Deepender Hooda said, "The government should answer on three issues -- poverty, unemployment and the crisis that arise due to the Adani Group in the banking sector, especially the LIC."
Communist Party of India (Marxist) general secretary D Raja said the government was making such projections and claims while the ground reality was different
"The government is making such projections and claims but the ground reality is different. The President's speech is nothing but a policy document prepared by the government. Modi government is a stable one but the question is whether it is a responsible government, whether it is responsible to the people, to farmers," said Raja.
Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said a government, which cannot provide food should not talk make such claims in the survey.
"Till date, all these surveys of the Modi government have turned out to be failures. A government, which cannot provide food, should not make such claims in the survey," he added.
Tiwari said that Droupadi Murmu President should have expressed her thoughts rather than reading what was handed to her.
Congress MP Manish Tewari said, "We will have to wait and see whether the (fiscal) discipline has been maintained or not."
Congress national Spokesperson Gourav Vallabh said, "As per Economic Survey 2023, our nominal GDP growth is projected to grow at 11 per cent for FY 24. With this nominal GDP for FY 24, our Gross Tax Revenue growth is expected to be around 8-8.5 per cent compared with 15.5 per cent in FY 23. This dip in the Gross Tax Revenue growth rate will put further pressure on the fiscal deficit for FY 24."
"Our Human Development Index ranking in 2021 was 132 out of 191 countries. Our score was 14 per cent lower than the global average. In 2020, our rank was 130. UNDP estimates the HDI in terms of 3 parameters -- to live a long and healthy life, to be educated and to have a decent standard of living," he added.
Shiv Sena MP Priyanka Chaturvedi said that Economic Survey suggests that the economy was doing well and the country was making progress.
"If we look at the economic survey, it seems that everything is going well and progress is being made in the country. The Economic Survey is also claiming that the economy has recovered from all the post-Covid challenges," she said.
Chaturvedi said the President's speech in Parliament was more of an election speech.
"The campaign pitch of the BJP, in the garb of the President's speech, is very unfortunate," she added.
Chief Economic Advisor Dr V Anantha Nageswaran, at a press conference in the national capital, said that the India Monentary Fund (IMF) in its World Economic Outlook Update, has maintained India's GDP forecast for current Fiscal Year at 6.8 per cent, the next Fiscal Year at 6.1 per cent and for 2024-25 at 6.8 per cent.
India's economy is poised to do better in remainder of this decade, the CEA said.
The Economic Survey document said the growth projection is broadly comparable to the estimates provided by multilateral agencies such as the World Bank, the IMF, the Asian Development Bank and the Reserve Bank of India.
"The actual outcome for real GDP growth will probably lie in the range of 6.0 per cent to 6.8 per cent, depending on the trajectory of economic and political developments globally," the survey read.
The Budget session of Parliament began on Tuesday with an address of President Droupadi Murmu of the joint sitting of the two houses of Parliament.
The Economic Survey said India remains the fastest-growing major economy in the world
GDP in nominal terms has been projected at 11 per cent in next fiscal.
Meanwhile, RBI projects 6.8 per cent inflation this fiscal outside the upper target limit, which the Economic Survey says is "not high enough to deter private consumption, also not too low to weaken inducement to invest."
A return of migrant workers to construction activities helped housing market witnessing a significant decline in inventory overhang to 33 months in Q3 of FY 23 from 42 months last year.
A surge in growth of exports in FY22 and the first half of FY23 induced a shift in the gears of the production process from mild acceleration to cruise mode.
Private Consumption as a percentage of GDP stood at 58.4 per cent in the second quarter OF FY23, the highest among the second quarters of all the years since 2013-14 supported by a rebound in contact-intensive services such as trade, hotel and transport survey points to the lower forecast for growth in global trade by the World Trade Organisation from 3.5 per cent in 2022 to 1.0 per cent in 2023
The Economic Survey document, formulated under the supervision of the chief economic adviser V Anantha Nageswaran, provides insights into the state of the economy and various indicators in the current financial year 2022-23 (April-March) and outlook for the next year.
The Economy Survey also gives some insight into the tone and texture of the actual Budget for 2023-24, to be presented tomorrow.
Budget 2023 is likely to be the last full Budget of the Modi government in its second term with the next Lok Sabha election due in April-May of 2024.
Like the previous two Union Budgets, Union Budget 2023-24 will also be presented in paperless form. (ANI)