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What the Economic Survey tells us about Budget 2014

It's evident that accountability, fiscal responsibility, tax reforms, realigning of subsidies will form the cornerstone of the Modi government's first Budget.

twitter-logo Shweta Punj        Last Updated: July 10, 2014  | 08:20 IST
What the Economic Survey tells us about Budget 2014
Finance minister Arun Jaitley.

Shweta Punj
After the President's address and the speech of the Prime Minister, the most nuanced policy document before the Union Budget is the Economic Survey, which spells out economic realities and gives an insight into the thinking of the government is the Economic Survey . There have been surveys that have been prescriptive, but considering the lean nature of this government, this survey perhaps gives an assessment of what to expect from the Budget.

Here's a quick snapshot of what to expect:

It's evident that accountability, fiscal responsibility, tax reforms, realigning of subsidies will form the cornerstone of the Modi government's first Budget.

FULL COVERAGE:Union Budget 2014

The Budget will be as much about farmers as about big business. The stifling Agricultural Produce and Marketing Committees Act could be relooked, farmers could be permitted to sell directly to consumers. Liberalising agriculture is what the Economic Survey calls it.
With limited room for fiscal manoeuvre, the Budget is likely to focus on ease of doing business.

The survey details the World Bank's report in this respect, in which India ranks poorly, emphasising the need to reform the interface between the state and companies. There is also likely to considerable focus on tax reforms, including a roadmap for GST, and a rethink on taxation of international firms operating in India.

The focus could be on measuring outcomes. Ministries are likely to be evaluated by evaluation bodies and departments could be held accountable for their targets, and the Planning Commission is likely to be replaced by Productivity Commission-one that will monitor and report on government departments with the report made available to the public.


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