Economic Survey: Highlights of the Document

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Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman tabled the Economic Survey in Lok Sabha on Jan 31, 2022.

According to the document, below are the key points:


Agriculture and Food Management:

• The Agriculture sector experienced buoyant growth in past two years, accounting for a sizeable 18.8% (2021-22) in Gross Value Added (GVA) of the country registering a growth of 3.6% in 2020-21 and 3.9% in 2021-22

• Minimum Support Price (MSP) policy is being used to promote crop diversification

• Net receipts from crop production have increased by 22.6% in the latest Situation Assessment Survey (SAS) compared to SAS Report of 2014

• Allied sectors including animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries are steadily emerging to be high growth sectors and major drivers of overall growth in agriculture sector

• The Livestock sector has grown at a CAGR of 8.15% over the last five years ending 2019-20. It has been a stable source of income across groups of agricultural households accounting for about 15% of their average monthly income

• Government facilitates food processing through various measures of infrastructure development, subsidized transportation and support for formalization of micro food enterprises

• India runs one of the largest food management programmes in the world

• Government has further extended the coverage of food security network through schemes like PM Gareeb Kalyan Yojana (PMGKY)



• GVA of services crossed pre-pandemic level in July-September quarter of 2021-22; however, GVA of contact intensive sectors like trade, transport, etc. still remain below pre-pandemic level.

• Overall service Sector GVA is expected to grow by 8.2 percent in 2021-22.

• During April-December 2021, rail freight crossed its pre-pandemic level while air freight and port traffic almost reached their pre-pandemic levels, domestic air and rail passenger traffic are increasing gradually – shows impact of second wave was much more muted as compared to during first wave.

• During the first half of 2021-22, service sector received over US$ 16.7 billion FDI – accounting for almost 54 percent of total FDI inflows into India.

• IT-BPM services revenue reached US$ 194 billion in 2020-21, adding 1.38 lakh employees during the same period.

• Major government reforms include, removing telecom regulations in IT-BPO sector and opening up of space sector to private players.

• Services exports surpassed pre-pandemic level in January-March quarter of 2020-21 and grew by 21.6 percent in the first half of 2021-22 – strengthened by global demand for software and IT services exports.

• The large-scale adoption of Unified Payment Interface (UPI) for making payments has resulted in it becoming the single largest retail payment system in the country in terms of volume of transactions, the economic survey of 2021-22 noted


Industry and Infrastructure:

• Index of Industrial Production (IIP) grew at 17.4 percent (YoY) during April-November 2021 as compared to (-)15.3 percent in April-November 2020.

• Capital expenditure for the Indian railways has increased to Rs. 155,181 crores in 2020-21 from an average annual of Rs. 45,980 crores during 2009-14 and it has been budgeted to further increase to Rs. 215,058 crores in 2021-22 – a five times increase in comparison to the 2014 level.

• Extent of road construction per day increased substantially in 2020-21 to 36.5 Kms per day from 28 Kms per day in 2019-20 – a rise of 30.4 percent.

• Net profit to sales ratio of large corporates reached an all-time high of 10.6 percent in the July-September quarter of 2021-22 despite the pandemic (RBI Study).

• Introduction of Production Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, major boost provided to infrastructure-both physical as well as digital, along with measures to reduce transaction costs and improve ease of doing business, would support the pace of recovery


Social Infrastructure and Employment:

157.94 crore doses of COVID-19 vaccines administered as on 16th January 2022; 91.39 crore first dose and  66.05 crore second dose.

• With the revival of economy, employment indicators bounced back to pre-pandemic levels during the last quarter of 2020-21.

• As per the quarterly Periodic Labour Force Survey (PFLS) data up to March 2021, employment in urban sector affected by pandemic has recovered almost to the pre-pandemic level.

• According to Employees Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) data, formalization of jobs continued during the second COVID wave; the adverse impact of COVID on formalization of jobs much lower than during the first COVID wave.

• Expenditure on social services (health, education, and others) by Centre and States as a proportion of GDP increased from 6.2 % in 2014-15 to 8.6% in 2021-22 (BE)


 Aviation Sector:

• Due to the increased rollout of COVID-19 vaccine and the easing of travel restrictions worldwide, the Indian aviation sector has started to rebound, according to the latest Economic Survey.

• According to the report, in 2021, the Centre government took multiple initiatives aimed at boosting aviation. These included calibrated opening of the domestic sector as the first wave of the pandemic ebbed, as well as introducing air transport bubbles with specific countries.

• The domestic traffic in India has more than doubled from around 61 million in 2013-14 to around 137 million in 2019-20, registering a growth of over 14 percent per annum.

• In addition to privatising Air India, modernizing and expanding airports, and bolstering the regional connectivity scheme UDAN, the Centre in 2021 also took other steps to strengthen India’s aviation sector.

• During the last four years after commencement of the scheme, 948 valid awarded routes have been allotted to various airlines and out of which 389 RCS routes connecting 62 unserved and underserved airports (including six heliports and two water aerodromes) have been operational zed so far.

• Although travel restrictions prevailed in October 2021, the total number of passengers carried reached 99.58 lakh, roughly 68 percent of the pre-Covid level of 146.25 lakh.

• The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS), also known as drones, offer tremendous benefits to almost all sectors of the economy and can become an important propeller for growth due to their reach, versatility, and ease of use, especially in India’s remote and inaccessible areas.

• The policy reforms will therefore catalyse super-normal growth in the upcoming drone sector. A resurgence of the sector is foreseen as a result of swift measures adopted by the government and industry



Startups in India have grown remarkably over the last six years.  The number of new recognised startups have increased to over 14,000 in 2021-22 from only 733 in 2016-17.

• As a result, India has become the third-largest startup ecosystem in the world after the US and China. 

• Further, a record 44 Indian startups have achieved unicorn status in 2021 taking the overall tally of unicorns in India to 83, most of these are in the services sector.

• Delhi has become the startup capital of India, outdoing Bengaluru on the number of startups added since April 2019, according to the Economic Survey 2022.

• The survey said more than 5,000 recognised startups were added in Delhi while 4,514 startups were added in Bengaluru between April 2019 and December 2021. With a total of 11,308, Maharashtra has more recognised startups than any other state.

• The survey said that 555 districts in India had at least one new startup, highlighting that startups in India have grown remarkably over the past six years, with most of them in the IT/knowledge-based sectors.


Pharmaceutical Sector:

Indian Pharmaceutical industry ranks 3rd in the world in pharmaceutical production by volume

• India is the largest supplier of generic medicines with a 20% share in the global supply. Price competitiveness and good quality has enabled Indian medicines producers to be dominant players in the world market, thereby making the country the “Pharmacy of the world”

• FDI in the pharmaceutical sector has seen a sudden spurt in 2020-21 vis-a-vis the previous year showing a 200% increase. In 2021-22 (April-September) the FDI inflows continued to be buoyant at Rs.4413 crore, growing at the rate of 53% over the same period in 2020-21. The extraordinary growth of foreign investments in pharma sector is mainly on account of investments to meet COVID-19 related demands for therapeutics and vaccines

• However, as India still relies on imports of bulk drugs, the issue of import dependence for critical bulk drugs was examined by a High-Level Committee and a composite set of actions to incentivize bulk drug production have been initiated


Programmes and Schemes for Health Sector:

Ayushman Bharat Health and Wellness Centres (AB-HWCs)

 Vision of Ayushman Bharat is to achieve the universal health coverage. It adopts a continuum of care approach, comprising of two inter-related components. The first component is creation of 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) which cover both, maternal and child health services and non-communicable diseases, including free essential drugs and diagnostic services. These ABHWCs provide Comprehensive Primary Health Care (CPHC), by expanding and strengthening the existing Reproductive & Child Health (RCH) services and Communicable Diseases services and by including services related to Non-Communicable Diseases. It is also envisaged to incrementally add primary healthcare services for mental health, ENT, Opthalmology, Oral health, Geriatric and Palliative health care and Trauma care as well as Health promotion and wellness activitieslikeYoga.As on 19.01.2022, a total number of 221.99 lakhsTele-consultations have been provided under e-Sanjeevani tele-consultation platform through functional HWCs of 3017 Hubs & 33,819 Spokes across the country. About 96.27 lakh Wellness Sessions, including Yoga has been conducted at AB-HWCs as on 19.01.2022


Ayushman Bharat Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (AB-PMJAY)

 The second component of Ayushman Bharat is PM-JAY; it is being implemented by the National Health Authority (NHA) in partnership with state governments. The scheme provides a health cover of ` 5 lakhs per family per year for secondary and tertiary care hospitalization to over 10.74 crores poor and vulnerable families in the bottom 40 percent of the Indian population. As on 19th January 2022, total of 17.5 crore Ayushman Cards have been issued under AB PM-JAY. A total of 2.73 crore authorized hospital admissions worth ` 30673 crore have been provided through a network of approximately 25000 hospitals (approximately 10800 Private and 14300 Public hospitals). A massive information, education and communication drive “Aapke Dwar Ayushman” was carried out in 2021 with the support of grassroot resources such as frontline workers, healthcare workers and Panchayati Raj Institutions. This led to the identification and verification of more than 4 crore people under the scheme


PM-Ayushman Bharat Health Infrastructure Mission (PM-ABHIM) 

PM-ABHIM is a mission to develop the capacities of primary, secondary, and tertiary care health systems, strengthen existing national institutions, and create new institutions, to cater to the detection and cure of new and emerging diseases. It is the largest pan-India scheme for public health infrastructure since 2005


Ayushman Bharat Digital Mission (ABDM)

Erstwhile National Digital Health Mission (NDHM), announced on 27th September, 2021 with the aim to develop the backbone necessary to support the integrated digital health infrastructure of the country. It is to bridge the existing gap amongst different stakeholders of the healthcare ecosystem through digital highways. Services like the issue of Health ID, Healthcare Professionals Registry (HPR), Health Facility Registry (HFR) and Health Records (PHR) have been initiated



In wake of COVID-19 pandemic, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare upgraded eSanjeevani application to enable patient-to-doctor tele-consultation to ensure continuum of care and facilitate health services to all citizens in the confine of their homes free of cost. Telemedicine services have been rolled out in 36 States/UTs. To increase the outreach of health services virtually, e-Sanjeevani OPD application has been integrated with 3.74 lakh Common Service Centres (CSCs) thereby facilitating access to equitable health care in the remotest areas of the country


India has made significant progress in improving its health outcomes over the last two decades by eliminating polio, guinea worm disease, yaws and maternal and neonatal tetanus. As per the latest National Family Health Survey (NFHS)-5, social indicators such as total fertility rate, sex ratio and health outcome indicators viz., infant mortality rate, under-five mortality rate, institutional birth rates have improved from 2015-16 to 2019-21.


Vaccination Strategy:

India’s National COVID Vaccination Program has been one of the world’s largest vaccination programs

“The Liberalized Pricing and Accelerated National COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy”: implemented from 1st May to 20th June 2021. Under the strategy, States/Union Territories (UTs) and private hospitals were allowed to procure COVID-19 vaccine directly from manufacturers. GOI procured 50% of monthly vaccine production by the domestic manufacturers, while the State Governments and private hospitals procured remaining 50% doses. However, based on real-time feedback, it was changed to “The Revised Guidelines for Implementation of National COVID Vaccination Program” implemented from 21st June 2021, whereby, Government of India procured 75 percent of monthly vaccine production and provided free to States and UTs, while rest could be procured by private hospitals


Vaccine availability: India is among few countries producing COVID vaccines. The country started with two ‘Made in India’ COVID vaccines (Covaxin & Covishield). Every month about 250-275 million doses of COVISHIELD and 50-60 million doses of COVAXIN have been produced. COVISHIELD, COVAXIN, and COVOVAX have also received emergency authorization approval from WHO. Besides, manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccines viz., Sputnik-V, ZyCoV-D, recombinant (Ad26.COV2-S) have also been given emergency use authorization by the regulatory authority. Moreover, import of COVID-19 Vaccines viz., Sputnik-V, Moderna, and recombinant (Ad26.COV2-S) have also been permitted


Pricing and equity: At all Government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres (CVCs), COVID-19 vaccine was made available free of cost for all eligible citizens. Except for about 4-5% of total doses administered in the country, rest have been administered at Government COVID-19 Vaccination Centres. Union Budget for 2021-22 allocated 35,000 crore for procurement under COVID-19 Vaccination Program. Out of total administered doses of COVID-19 vaccines, 49% have been administered to females; more than 70% of vaccine doses have been administered at CVCs located in rural areas


 Sustainable Development and Climate Change:

• India’s overall score on the NITI Aayog SDG India Index and Dashboard improved to 66 in 2020-21 from 60 in 2019-20 and 57 in 2018-19.

• Number of Front Runners (scoring 65-99) increased to 22 States and UTs in 2020-21 from 10 in 2019-20.

• In North East India, 64 districts were Front Runners and 39 districts were Performers in the NITI Aayog North-Eastern Region District SDG Index 2021-22.

• India has the tenth largest forest area in the world.

• In 2020, India ranked third globally in increasing its forest area during 2010 to 2020.

• In 2020, the forests covered 24% of India’s total geographical, accounting for 2% of the world’s total forest area.

• In August 2021, the Plastic Waste Management Amendment Rules, 2021, was notified which is aimed at phasing out single-use plastic by 2022.

• Draft regulation on Extended Producer Responsibility for plastic packaging was notified.

• The Compliance status of Grossly Polluting Industries (GPIs) located in the Ganga main stem and its tributaries improved from 39% in 2017 to 81% in 2020.

• The consequent reduction in effluent discharge has been from 349.13 millions of litres per day (MLD) in 2017 to 280.20 MLD in 2020.

• The Prime Minister, as a part of the national statement delivered at the 26th Conference of Parties (COP 26) in Glasgow in November 2021, announced ambitious targets to be achieved by 2030 to enable further reduction in emissions.

• The need to start the one-word movement ‘LIFE’ (Lifestyle for Environment) urging mindful and deliberate utilization instead of mindless and destructive consumption was underlined.

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