As business students you have to be more alert about the economic-business happenings in the country and abroad. Your ability as a potential employee seeking an entry into any job and further survival and growth in your career would depend very much on this knowledge. As such you should be reading business pages of daily newspapers. Even if you could not make any headway about these in the first few days continuous and persistence reading of business and economic news items and commentaries would make you proficient sooner than later.
The month February is particularly important to give you enough opportunities for such awareness. For in the last week of February a number of macro-economic documents would be in the news, widely reported, analyzed and commented upon. These would include the following documents presented to the Parliament:
- Annual Economic Survey that takes a broad view of the country’s economic trends and developments in the current year and possible hints on the future. This comes in the form of a bulky book which contains a lot of statistics and charts and extensive details on various sectors, economic policies etc. A few years back this was written in a very complicated manner deciphered only by experts. Fortunately in the past few years this has been made more reader friendly with a number of box items which even an interested layman could understand.
- The Railway Budget: The Indian Railways is the biggest employer in the country and plays a crucial role in the economy. Though strictly this is a business department of the Government and not necessarily part of the Revenue Budget this is also presented to the Parliament carrying over the historical tradition followed in the British India.
- The Revenue Budget: This is the most important document eagerly awaited by the Industry, trade, financial institutions, tax payers, even the central and state governments. This contains the blueprint for the economic operations of the Government for the next year.
There would be extensive coverage of these in the press and media. A lot of commentaries and discussions by experts in different fields on the various aspects of the budget which would also be reported by the press. As a reaction to the provisions in the Budget trade and markets would also react substantially. So would the various Industry associations and Chambers of commerce. So please be alert during this crucial week starting from 23rd and read as many newspapers and periodicals as possible. Please keep watch for these days and the newspapers of the subsequent days:
Thursday 25th February: Railway Budget
Friday 26th February: Economic Survey
Monday 29th February: Union Budget.
If possible make an effort to watch the Budget Presentation and the subsequent analysis by various TV channels on 29th Feb from morning 10 AM onwards.
However as students you would find some difficulty in understanding a number of technical terms and jargon commonly used in such discussions. In the next few days I shall provide sufficient clarifications in advance so that when the news appears you are able to follow it with ease.
So as I said the month February is particularly educative to business students. In fact I would say that the education has already started from the last days of January when the Governor of RBI Dr Raghuram Rajan made significant statements on several economic policy matters during his several speeches. One particular statement about the need for correct computation of Gross Domestic Product or GDP in short attracted wide attention. This term GDP is going to be mentioned again and again in the Budget and related discussions. So let us start off by understanding GDP, its importance, computations and controversies about GDP.