New Delhi: The Economic Survey said meeting the revenue deficit target set out in the Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act next year would be a challenge. Revenue deficit should be zero on 31 March 2009. The government’s efforts at fiscal consolidation has been supported by robust growth in taxes which, in turn, has been driven by an increasingly globalized economy, the survey said. A closer monitoring of global economic events that influence the domestic economy is critical, the survey concluded.
The survey suggested the 13th Finance Commission might like to consider FRBM targets for the next five years, keeping in mind the fiscal consolidation needed to push down interest rates to a level in sync with global rates. Staff Writer
Survey computes WPI with new base
New Delhi: Without waiting for the new series of wholesale price index (WPI) that is presently being computed by the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), the Economic Survey has computed all the five price indices, including the four consumer price indices (CPI), on a common base of 1999-2000 to prove that inflation has been the highest in WPI in the last eight years. Over 1999-2000 to 2006-07, while WPI went up by almost 42%, CPIs show a rise of 24% to 38%.
The CPI for agricultural labourers shows the lowest inflation of 24%.
The current WPI series has a base year of 1993-94. Chief statistician of India Pronab Sen confirmed that the new WPI series with a base of 1999-2000 had not been released. Staff Writer
Housing price index for five cities presented
New Delhi: A housing price index to track the movement of residential house prices in five cities was presented for the first time in the survey. Constructed by the National Housing Bank (NHB), the index covered New Delhi, Mumbai Kolkata, Bangalore and Bhopal.
It showed that over a four-year period (2002 to 2005), Bangalore’s annual average housing inflation was 28.8%, the highest among the five cities. ‘Mint’ had first reported on the construction of the index on 6 February 2007.
NHB plans to release an economywide housing price index on a regular basis. Staff Writer
Survey suggests smart cards?for?empowerment
New Delhi: The survey has advocated use of smart cards for empowerment. It said a working group of the Planning Commission has examined the design and use of multi-application smart cards, which will enhance the efficiency of government schemes, such as public distribution system, Indira Awas Yojana and National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
It has further argued that such a system could form the basis for the introduction of a smart card system and a Web-enabled information system on an experimental basis. Staff Writer