WHITE PAPER (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Economy)

News-CRUX-10     9th February 2024        

Context: Finance Minister of India presented a “white paper” on the Indian economy in Parliament.

White Paper

  • About: A white paper typically provides information about a specific issue. 

oA government may present a white paper — say, on black money — to make people aware of the nature and scope of the problem and the possible ways to resolve it.

  • Prepared by: Ministry of Finance
  • Comparison between: The record of two governments on a variety of economic parameters.
  • Objective
  • It seeks to inform everyone “of the nature and extent of governance, economic and fiscal crises that were bequeathed” to the NDA government when it assumed office in 2014.
  • It informs about “the policies and measures that (NDA) government took to restore the health of the economy” since 2014.
  • It “hopes to generate a wider, more informed debate on the paramountcy of national interest and fiscal responsibility in matters of governance over political expediency.”
  • It quotes Prime Minister of india’s speech on last year’s Independence Day, “to commit ourselves to national development, with new inspirations, new consciousness, new resolutions, as the country opens up immense possibilities and opportunities.”

Why is it being presented now?

  • Timing: The document clarifies the decision to present the white paper after a decade, highlighting the government's strategic approach.
  • Negative Narrative: The government chose not to release a white paper earlier to prevent a negative portrayal of the state of affairs, which could have undermined confidence, including that of investors.
  • Attraction of Investments: Delaying the white paper allowed for the attraction of both domestic and global investments, contributing to economic stability and growth.
  • Building Support for Reforms: The document highlights the intention to build public support for much-needed reforms as a key factor in the delayed release of the white paper.