cea: Economic Survey likely to be single-volume this year

NEW DELHI: The Economic Survey for 2021-22 is likely to have only one volume due to the absence of a full-time chief economic advisor (CEA). The one-volume will largely be data for the fiscal year across sectors and will not have the policy prescriptions which form part of the main Volume-1, officials indicated. The current CEA Krishnamurthy Subramanian has announced his plan to return to academia after his three-year stint ends on December 7. Last month, the government started the search for a new CEA and the process is likely to be completed by January. “We won’t have a full-time CEA to take ownership of the Economic Survey. It will be a single-volume document,” said an official, who did not wish to be named. The CEA has to be present in Parliament to answer any queries with regard to the economic survey. At the start of the NDA II’s term, then economic affairs secretary Arvind Mayaram was credited with driving the survey as Arvind Subramanian had not taken over as the CEA. The survey is a report card of the economy and Volume 1 has been used by successive CEAs to push through reform ideas. Unlike in the past, some of the major reform initiatives outlined in the survey were implemented by the government this year to help the economy recover swiftly from the devastating impact of the Covid pandemic. Officials said Subramanian would be overseeing some of the groundwork for the single-volume survey. Moves are on to appoint the new CEA soon as an officer on special duty (OSD) to ensure a smooth transition. Subramanian had started several initiatives such as the monthly economic report (MER) which needs to be carried through by the incoming CEA. The Economic Survey for 2020-21 had forecast GDP growth to rebound to 10.5% and forcefully articulated that the economy will register a V-shaped recovery.

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