Economic Survey can often be a boring document, full of official-sounding jargon, repeating in text what is already available in tables. One looks towards Survey for two kinds of things. First, normally, there is little primary data in Survey. Data comes from other sources. However, for people outside government, who don’t always have access to official data, Survey often becomes a primary source, though given the date on which Survey is usually presented; full-year data for the current year are often not available.
Bibek Debroy's blog
The Railway Budget for 2016-17 has just been presented. The headline-grabbing point about no new trains and no fare increases is a myopic way of looking at the Budget. There are two ways to look at the Budget. The first is to look at the numbers in 2015-16 and how the projections went wrong, thereby adding credibility to the projections for 2016-17. Of course, the numbers are bad. Paragraph 3 of the budget speech sets out three reasons for this – growth slowdown, Pay Commission impact and declining modal share of Railways. One can’t disagree with this diagnosis.
At the Joint Session of Parliament, the President said that "Close to 1800 obsolete legislations are at various stages of repeal". Earlier, at the Economic Times Global Business Summit, the PM said, "Our country suffers from an excess of old and unnecessary laws which obstruct people and businesses. We began the exercise of identifying unnecessary laws and repealing them. 1,877 Central laws have been identified for repeal. Out of these, 125 have already been repealed. Bills for repealing another 758 have been passed by the Lok Sabha and are awaiting the approval of the Upper House."
The Ministry of Urban Development has disseminated plenty of information about a Smart City, including through the website SMART CITIES MISSION. Yet, there is often lack of clarity in public discourse
One goal of the Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is better sanitation, building toilets and an end to open defecation. There is a history to SBM, in the form of earlier programmes and schemes. Since October 2014, SBM has been coordinated by the Ministry of Drinking Water and Sanitation (MDWS), with sub-components of SBM (Gramin) and SBM (Urban). As a consequence, from present estimates of 48% open defecation, India should become free from open defecation by October 2019.
"Over a period of time, partly due to administrative needs and partly due to compulsions of coalition politics, there has been a significant proliferation of Ministers and Departments in almost all the States. This proliferation has led to administrative fragmentation." This is a quote from the 15th Report (2009) of the 2nd Administrative Reforms Commission. For the moment, let’s ignore the question of size of Council of Ministers, except to point out that the 91st Constitutional Amendment (2004) set a ceiling of 15% of the strength of the Legislative Assembly.