Chief Economic Adviser KV Subramanian on January 29 said the Economic Survey 2021 is dedicated to "COVID warriors".
Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the survey in Parliament, ahead of the Budget presentation on February 1.
"The Survey's call for more active, counter-cyclical fiscal policy is not a call for fiscal irresponsibility. It is a call to break the intellectual anchoring that has created an asymmetric bias against the fiscal policy," the report said.
> The survey pegged India's real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth at 11 percent in 2021-22. The Indian economy is forecast to contract 7.7 percent in 2020-21, the survey said. The survey has predicted a V-shaped economic recovery.
> The survey also spoke about the efficacy of the COVID-induced lockdown, noting that it was effective in controlling the spread of the disease.
"Going forward, in order to sustain the recovery in aggregate demand, it is expected that the Government may have to continue with an expansionary fiscal stance," the survey said.
> The Economic Survey also made some comments on poverty and income inequality.
"India must continue to focus on economic growth to lift the poor out of poverty by expanding the overall pie," the report said.
> The survey also spoke about the importance of the healthcare sector, batting for an increase in healthcare expenditure.
"An increase in public spend from 1 percent to 2.5-3 percent of GDP – as envisaged in the National Health Policy 2017 – can decrease the OOPE from 65 percent to 30 percent of overall healthcare spend," the report said.
> The survey said fiscal deficit for 2020-21 might exceed the government's current estimate.
"Keeping in view the concurrent demand of expenditure pertaining to the stimulus packages announced by the Government during the year to mitigate the impact of the pandemic and the anticipated revenue shortfall, it is expected that the fiscal deficit of the Central Government may overshoot its Budget Estimate for the current fiscal year," the survey said.
> The survey also noted that jobs in the gig economy saw a big boost, lead by online retail, due to the COVID-19 pandemic-induced lockdown.
> The survey said the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PM-JAY) enhanced health insurance coverage, stating that "the proportion of households with health insurance increased by 54 percent for the states that implemented PM-JAY while falling by 10 per cent in states that did not."
> The survey also criticised the poor governance structure in banks, blaming it for the bad loan mess in the system.