New Delhi:Economic Survey for fiscal 2018-19 was presented in the Lok Sabha on Thursday by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.The Economic Survey has called for redesigning of a Minimum Wage System in India for achieving inclusive growth.
A well-designed and effective implementation of minimum wages will help decrease wage inequality, it said.It also said that the effective implementation of minimum wages will strengthen the trend towards decreasing wage inequality especially at lower levels.
"This becomes all the more significant as women constitute the majority of the bottom rungs of the wage distribution". It also said that the rationalisation of minimum wages as proposed under the Code on Wages Bill needs to be supported.
Govt projects GDP at 7 pc for 2019-20
The Government on Thursday projected the real GDP growth for the year 2019-20 at 7 per cent on the back of anticipated pickup in the growth of investment and acceleration in the growth of consumption.
Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament, which clearly stated that the year 2019-20 has delivered a huge political mandate for the government, which augurs well for the prospects of high economic growth.
According to the survey, India continued to remain the fastest growing major economy in the world in 2018-19, despite a slight moderation in its GDP growth from 7.2 per cent in 2017-18 to 6.8 per cent in 2018-19.
Economic Survey 2019: CAD rises to 2.6 pc of GDP in Apr-Dec 2018
India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) has increased from 1.9 per cent of GDP in 2017-18 to 2.6 per cent in April-December 2018 owing to a higher trade deficit driven by rise in international crude oil prices (Indian basket), the Government announced on Thursday.
Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey 2018-19 in Parliament.According to the survey, the trade deficit increased from 162.1 billion dollars in 2017-18 to 184 billion dollars 2018-19.
Merchandise imports reduced from 21.1 per cent to 10.4 per cent. Growth in service exports and imports in US dollar terms declined to 5.5 per cent and 6.7 per cent respectively in 2018-19, from 18.8 per cent and 22.6 per cent respectively in 2017-18, the survey said.
The foreign exchange reserves in nominal terms also decreased by 11.6 billion dollars end-March 2019 over end-March 2018. Within the year, foreign exchange reserves were declining until October 2018 due to RBI's intervention to modulate exchange rate volatility.
The Survey said India's foreign exchange reserves continued to be comfortably placed at 422.2 billion dollars, as on June 14, 2019.
Net Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows also grew by 14.2 per cent in 2018-19. Among the top sectors attracting FDI equity inflows, services, automobiles and chemicals were the major categories.
The survey added that FDI inflows have been growing at a high rate since 2015-16, indicating improvement in confidence of the foreign investors in the Indian economy.
Eco Survey: By 2021, 100 pc electrification of Railways Broad Gauge network
The Indian Railways has initiated a major programme for electrifying 100 per cent of its Broad Gauge network to reduce the nation's dependence on imported diesel oil, the Economic Survey 2018-19 tabled in Parliament on Thursday underscored.
The Economic Survey 2018-19, presented by Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, stated that as on April 1, 2019, Railways has 35,488 Route Kilometre of network commissioned on electric traction which constitutes 51.85 per cent of total network and carries 64.50 per cent of freight and 53.70 per cent of coaching traffic.
The pace of electrification accelerated and a total of 38,000 RKM has been identified for electrification by 2021.
The category-wise break-up of consequential train accidents shows that the incident of train collisions has come down to zero in the year 2018-19 in Railways and the incidents of derailment have decreased from 78 in 2016-17 to 46 in the year 2018-19, it said.
In 2018-19, Railways carried 1221.39 million tonnes of revenue earning freight showing an increase of 61.84 million tonnes over the freight traffic of 2017-18 and translating into an increase of 5.33 per cent. There is an increase of 2.09 per cent the number of passengers carried by Indian Railways during 2017-18 as compared to 2016-17 and 0.64 per cent increase in 2018-19 as compared to 2017-18.
The survey said elucidating on the Freight and passenger performance of Railways, the survey highlights that Revenue Earning Freight loading (excluding loading by Konkan Railways) by Railways during 2017-18 was placed at 1159.55 million tonnes, as against 1106.15 million tonnes during 2016-17, registering an increase of 4.83 per cent, with incremental loading of 53.40 million tonnes over 2016-17.
It pointed out that the 'Swachh Rail Swachh Bharat' mission of Railways focuses on cleanliness. As per the swachh rail portal, 'Beas' station ranked first in India in the case of cleanliness among 'A' category stations and 'Visakhapatnam' tops the list among 'A1' category stations. Indian Railway has also made sincere efforts in the area of energy and water conservation and there is an increasing competition among stations to obtain "Green Rating".
Similarly, Railways has also encouraged Green Certification of Workshop and Production Units through Green Industries Certification in collaboration which Confederation of Indian Industry. So far 10 Railway Stations, 34 workshops and four production units have been green certified by CII, it added.
It also stated that being a cost-effective long distant transport mode, Indian Railways has witnessed commendable progress. In order to provide safe, secure and comfortable journey to passengers, Indian Railways has taken numerous steps such as provision of escalators, plastic bottle crusher machines, mechanized cleaning and housekeeping at major stations.
Mainstream "Resource Efficiency Approach" in India's Development for achieving SDGs: Eco Survey
Unlike generic economic uncertainty, which cannot be controlled, policymakers can reduce economic policy uncertainty to foster a salutary investment climate in the country, said the Economic Survey 2018-19 tabled in Parliament on Thursday.
''In order to address the increasing air pollution across the country in a comprehensive manner, Government of India has launched a National Clean Air Programme in 2019 as a pan-India time bound national level strategy for prevention, control and abatement of air pollution besides augmenting the air quality monitoring network across the country,'' said the Survey, tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
The Survey stated that a harmonised overarching National Policy on Resource Efficiency (RE), building upon the existing policies to address multiple sectors should be devised for mainstreaming Resource Efficiency approach in the development pathway for achieving SDGs.
Resource Efficiency can be a major tool to meet the resource needs of the country, at the least possible cost to the environment, it added.
The survey assesses priority sectors of Indian economy for enhancing RE in India. It quotes IGEP, 2013 and states, "Various studies have analysed the economic impact of RE strategy and identified that Rs. 6000 crores can be saved in the manufacturing sector with its implementation."
India follows a holistic approach towards its 2030 Sustainable Development Goals by launching various schemes and continues to target and maintain its economic growth by introducing and implementing various policies and measures relating to sustainable development, climate change, resource efficiency and air pollution.
''India's SDG Index Score ranges between 42 and 69 for States and between 57and 68 for UTs. Kerala and Himachal Pradesh are the front runners amongst all the States with a score of 69, Chandigarh and Puducherry are the front runners with a score of 68 and 65 respectively among the UT's,'' the Survey stated.
The Survey cites current Government of India policies in direction of achieving SDGs which included Swachh Bharat Mission, Beti Bacho Beti Padhao, Pradhan Mantri AwasYojana, Smart Cities, Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana, Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gram Jyoti Yojana and Pradhan Mantri UjjwalaYojana, among others.
The Namami Gange Mission- a key policy priority towards achieving the SDG 6 - was launched as a priority programme with a budget outlay of Rs.20,000 crore for the period 2015-2020.
The Survey stressed reducing economic policy uncertainty in the country to promote investment.
It has strongly emphasised the need to reduce Economic Policy Uncertainty in the country in order to foster a favourable investment climate. This factor has been termed especially important in context of the Survey's recommendations for shifting gears to an investment driven growth model for the country.
''After falling for a decade since 2008, investment activity in India turned the corner since Q1 of 2017-18. Fixed Investment Rates that fell from 37 per cent in 2007-08 to 27 per cent in the following ten years, recovered to 28 per cent recently. A secular trend of reducing Economic Policy Uncertainty may have helped to foster the turnaround in investment activity,'' the survey said.
Economic Survey 2018-19: India needs to 8 pc GDP rate for $5 trillion economy
To achieve the vision of 5 trillion dollar economy, India needs to shift its gears to accelerate and sustain a real GDP growth rate of 8 per cent, the Economic Survey 2018-19, tabled in Parliament on Thursday, said.
The survey, tabled by Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, suggested a "shifting of gears" to sustained economic growth for objective of 5 trillion dollars economy by 2024-25.
The survey departs from traditional thinking by viewing the economy as being either in a virtuous or a vicious cycle, and thus never in equilibrium. Rather than viewing the national priorities of fostering economic growth, demand, exports and job creation as separate problems, the Survey views these macroeconomic phenomena as complementary to each other.
Learning from the global financial crisis, the economy has been viewed as either in a virtuous cycle or a vicious cycle and therefore the concept of equilibrium economics has been disbanded. Second, rather than trying to tackle various economic challenges of demand, jobs, exports et cetera in silos, the survey makes the case that these phenomena are all complimentary. Therefore, creating the virtuous cycle with investment, especially private investment, as the main driver can enable growth in each of these important macro variables.
Treating people as humans and not as robots as in classical economics, creating data as a public good, enhancing the legal system for enforcement of contracts, insuring consistency of policy with the blueprint are some aspects that have been discussed in the survey.
This year's survey also utilises advances in Behavioural Economics to address issues of gender equality, a healthy and a beautiful India, savings, tax compliance and credit quality. It recognises the role of social norms in the success of initiatives such as ''Beti Bacho Beti Padhao'', ''Swacch Bharat Mission'' and ''Jan Dhan Yojana'' to effect behavioral change. (UNI)