New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram will tomorrow table in Parliament, the Economic Survey — a report card on the economy during this fiscal that will also show the direction of government policy in the year ahead.
It will be followed by the presentation of the Budget for 2008-09 on 29 February.
The industry, which is upbeat after the presentation of a populist Railway budget yesterday, expects the Finance Minister too to announce cut in income tax and excise duty on various commodities to sustain GDP growth — now under pressure due to a slowdown in the US economy.
The Survey, mainly authored by the chief economic advisor Arvind Virmani, is expected to indicate the government’s priorities and thrust areas for the Budget 2008-09.
After posting a scorching 9.6% growth in 2006-07, the Indian growth story was seen slowing down in 2007-08.
The Survey is expected to indicate policy measures to dampen inflation, which is ruling above the 4% mark, reverse slowdown in export growth, tackle the impact of rising rupee and address the issue of spurt in global crude oil and food prices.
It is also expected to present a rosy picture of the economy and outline the achievements of the United Progressive Alliance government, besides high growth in tax collections.
A booming internal market for goods and services, thanks to a spurt in domestic savings and investment coupled with capital inflow, is likely to see growth at close to the 9% mark this fiscal.
However, on the agriculture front, the Survey may express concern about stagnation in foodgrain and oilseeds production and the need to raise public investment in farm sector to attain 4% targeted growth in the sector.