Saturday Webinar on Economic Survey Volume II
Every Saturday, the students of M.A. PPG meet online for a webinar on various topics pertaining to public policy. It is organised and presented by the students of M.A. PPG, mainly for the students of M.A. PPG, though it is open to all.
On the first panel discussion of February 2021, the student panel discussed ‘Economic Survey Volume II’. The member panel consisted of first year M.A. PPG students Mr. Arth Mishra, Ms. Aswathi Prakash, Ms. Veena Mahor, Ms. Priyanka and Mr. Arun Kumar S. and moderated by Ms. Sivapriya Ambalavanan.
Arth touched upon the macro-economic view of the Indian economy, V-shaped recovery and fiscal developments. He also touched upon the governmental measures taken like the counter-fiscal policy which had three primary criteria to support the poor, for self-reliance and to push for liquidity. He also highlighted V-shaped economic recovery with many sectors having an equilibrium, pre and post-pandemic.
Aswathi spoke about monetary management, financial intermediation and inflation, focusing on the methodology used to measure inflation and its criticisms. She also elaborated on the government’s intent for pushing for more inflow of FPIs within the country. Further, she highlighted India’s advantageous position in the border-standoff with China leading to better trade sector improvements for India.
Priyanka spoke about the external and services sector focusing on India’s position in external trade as the fifth largest foreign export holder, depicting the successive current account surplus within the country. She also highlighted the regulation of imports within the country, and the slowing down of imports from China and the US creating a Trade Balance. The impacts were also elaborated vis a vis the V-shaped economic recovery. Further, the boost in the Indian start-up ecosystem and Space sector reforms were also highlighted.
The fourth panellist Arun touched upon the agriculture and allied sectors, and industry and infrastructure, focusing on the agriculture sector. The gross capital formation was elaborated upon, where it was seen to be in decline as the sector attracts very few private institutions, thus requiring more market reforms. The credit flow required within the sector was also highlighted depicting the regional disparities within the boundaries of the country. He shared his thoughts on food subsidy. He also spoke on the allied sectors, focusing on milk production and consumption within the country. He went on to elaborate on the disadvantages of the demographics of our farmers based on land-holding reflecting the lack of appropriate policies. He highlighted the government measures to push start-ups encouraging MSMEs with examples of the steel, coal, micro-enterprises and textile industry. The National Infrastructure Pipeline and the role of the PPP model within the society, similar to the civil aviation and telecom industry were also discussed.
Veena spoke on climate change and the social development sector. She highlighted the various policies introduced by the government of India during the pandemic like the Ayushman Bharata scheme, various health and wellness centres etc. She also elaborated on the requirement of investments within the sector to help penetrate to the grassroots level. She spoke about the new dimensions of telemedicine and its improvement with regards to other policies implemented. Moving on, she spoke on the climate change aspect, focusing on the three important steps taken by the Indian government for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, to enhance forest and tree covers and the effective implementation of the National Action Plan on Climate Change. Recommendations were provided to improve solar projects through adaptive planning and appropriate infrastructure. Further, the challenges were elucidated, like the inter and intragenerational equity, the role of both developed and developing countries and the implementation of projects worth $200 billion in the current scenario.
The panel discussion saw active participation from the audience and many areas were discussed in-depth to uncover the merits and demerits and the economic survey in relation to other policies. The audience pointed out the various ways to interpret economic surveys and the importance of incorporating multiple methods to gain an in-depth understanding, and the importance of the survey in India, for the public understanding of the economic position of the country.