The Economic Survey 2020-21 was tabled in the Parliament on January 29. According to the report, there was significant improvement in formal skill training across all classes of the population and across regions. The Government as well as the states spent a lot more on education, health and other social services in the past five years than ever before. In fact, this expenditure accounts for the increase of a proportion of GDP from 6.2 to 8.8 per cent during the period 2014-15 to 2020-21 (BE).
The shift to remote working and online working increased the importance of access to data networks and electronic devices, such as computers, laptops, smart phones and so on. Women ended up spending more time doing domestic chores and caring for the family and elderly, than men. In other words, women spent more time doing work that did not pay them anything as compared to men, reveals the Time Use Survey.
There is an urgent need to provide more protection and security to working women through non-discriminatory policies, in terms of remuneration, compensation, promotions and incentives at work, career growth, medical benefits and social security. However, the report does indicate that there has been improvement in immunisation coverage for kids, the rate of infant mortality, rate of mortality under five, as well as institutional birth.
The Index of Industrial Production or IIP indicates a strong recovery of economic activity, which is apparently moving fast towards pre-COVID levels. Last year, India moved up to 63rd rank in the Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) Index from the earlier 77th position. The total FDI equity inflows were US$49.98 billion in 2020 as compared to US$44.37 billion in the previous financial year. The Government has announced a production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme in the 10 key sectors under AatmaNirbhar Bharat to improve the country’s manufacturing efforts as well as exports.
The country’s services sector shrunk by almost 16 per cent, during the pandemic-related lockdown. This sector accounts for over 54 per cent of India’s gross value added (GVA).