The Economic Survey 2022 tabled by Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman detailed the state of the Indian economy ahead of the Union Budget. The survey has projected an 8-8.5 per cent growth in the fiscal year 2022-23. This is less than the 9.2 per cent GDP projected for the current fiscal year, as the country battles a surge in COVID-19 cases.
The economy fell by 7.3% in 2020-21 as a result of the Covid pandemic and subsequent nationwide lockdowns. As per the survey, Covid-19 has had the greatest influence on the service industry, while the agriculture sector has been the least affected as it grew 3.9 per cent in 2021-22 as compared to 3.6 per cent in the previous years.
The survey indicates that the unemployment rate declined to 9.3 per cent in Q4 of 2020-21. The Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE) report also suggests that there are 3 million fewer jobs now than there were before the pandemic.
In response to the survey, Mohandas Pai, Chairman of Manipal Global Education, stated to Mojo Story, “We are better off today than we were six months ago.” He did, however, highlight the diverse kind of economic progress. For example, there are jobs in south India, yet the people that work there are from north India. The fundamental challenge, he said, is the situation of the states. “States must get their acts together.” It is a state-specific problem. “How would India thrive if states like Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and West Bengal do not raise their standards?” he continued.
He addressed that the bottom 300 districts of India are extremely impoverished and that it is critical for such states to develop labour-intensive sectors that can provide 10-15 jobs for every crore of capital invested. Furthermore, incentives such as 2000-3000Rs per month for three years for each job created must be provided.
Senior Journalist Madhavan Narayanan stated that while South India is performing well in terms of jobs and education, we don’t need a Gujarat model but rather a Tamil Nadu and Karnataka model. The dispute in Bihar over railway recruitment demonstrates the political implications of unemployment. “The government is doing too little of welfare spending,” he added.