Jaitley counters Congress' charge on GDP, says new series are globally more comparable
New Delhi, Nov 29: Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday clarified Centre's stand on the GDP recalibration over which the Congress has been crying foul. He said that the new formula for the GDP which uses 2011-12 as the base year is globally more comparable.
The Congress on Wednesday accused the Modi government of "manipulating" GDP data of previous years. A lot of confusion was sown and the Modi government added to the confusion by changing the base year from 2004-05 to 2011-12, Congress had said.
"In Feb 2015, the CSO worked on a new formula with 2011-12 as the base year and a new GDP series was announced. This new series is globally more comparable, takes into account greater representation & is more reflective of the state of the economy. This data revised the GDP growth in the last 2 years of UPA government. At that time, revision had made the GDP grow upwards, at that time it was welcomed by the people in the then government," the FM said.
"Now in continuation of same exercise, applying same yardstick, new series has been made applicable from 2004-5. So growth on the basis of new series maybe revised upwards or downwards depending on applicability of the data, the formula is the same," Jaitley added.
The government on Wednesday lowered the country's economic growth rate during the previous Congress-led UPA regime, shaving off over one percentage point from the only year when India posted double-digit GDP growth post liberalisation and from each of the three years with 9-plus per cent expansion.
Recalibrating data of past years using 2011-12 as the base year instead of 2004-05, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimated that India's GDP grew by 8.5 per cent in the financial year 2010-11 (April 2010 to March 2011) and not at 10.3 per cent as previously estimated. Similarly, 9.3 per cent growth rate each in 2005-06 and 2006-07 was lowered to 7.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively, while 7.7 per cent rate was now estimated for 2007-08 instead of 9.8 per cent.
Congress alleged that since the NDA government assumed office in May 2014, there has been a determined effort to run down the record of the two UPA governments under Manmohan Singh during 2004-2009 and 2009-2014.
"The revised 'New Series' computed today by the Ministry of Statistics and Niti Aayog has completely undermined the NSC (National Statistical Commission), the autonomous body for deciding data transparently and in accordance with global standards of calculating GDP as per Market Price Linked Methodology. Today, the Modi government deceived the country by surreptitiously changing the methodology in order to manipulate GDP data. This is called 'Excel Sheet Management' i.e deciding the result first and filling the marks later," Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said yesterday (Nov 28).