New GDP numbers demolish UPA's claim of faster economic growth than under NDA

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First Published 29, Nov 2018, 11:36 AM IST
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Highlights

In August, the National Statistical Commission had released the back series data which showed India’s economy had grown by over 10% under UPA at least for a year

New Delhi: Junking the myth that the previous United Progressive Alliance government performed better in economic growth, a new set of data released by the Niti Aayog shows that India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth under UPA was mere 6.7%.

The new data part of the back series estimates, released on Wednesday, has put the revised average annual growth rate for the nine years between 2005-06 and 2013-14 (all UPA years), now stands at just 6.7%, against 7.35% in the first four years of the NDA.

Previously in August, the National Statistical Commission had released the back series data, which showed that India’s GDP growth was over 10% for at least one year under UPA. 

After the Modi government took over in 2014, the base year for calculating GDP growth was changed to 2011-12. As a back series was not available, GDP data for the years before the new method was introduced was considered incomparable to that for the later years.

Explaining the new estimates, Niti Aayog vice-chairperson Rajiv Kumar said the new figures are based on an extensive recalibration exercise that used the latest data sources and methodological changes.

He said the back series had been checked for its methodological soundness by leading statistical experts in the country during two roundtables organised by the Niti Aayog. During these, domain experts participated to ensure the quality of coverage and methodology.

In January 2015, the government had moved to a new base year of 2011-12 from the earlier base year of 2004-05 for national accounts.

After the introduction of the new series, back-series estimates are compiled and released for the years preceding the new base year for completeness and comparability with old base data sets.

Revised GDP numbers are a joke’: Chidambaram

Reacting to the NITI Aayog’s revised GDP numbers, former finance minister and top Congress leader P. Chidambaram said the numbers are a joke. “The numbers are the result of a hatchet job,” Chidambaram tweeted, adding that: “It is time to wind up the utterly worthless body. The earlier numbers were calculated by the National Statistical Commission. Has the commission been disbanded?”

The Congress accused the Modi government of “manipulating” the GDP data of previous years. “The entire GDP back series data released today reflects the desperate attempt of a defeatist Modi government to undermine India’s growth story over last 15 years,” Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said in a statement. “Modi Government and its puppet Niti Aayog want the people to believe that 2+2=8. Such is the gimmickry, jugglery, trickery and chicanery being sold as back series data.”

Surjewala alleged that a failed “Modinomics plus a pakoda economic vision” has put India’s economy in turmoil. He also blamed demonetisation and the Goods Services Tax introduced by the Modi government of causing an “economic mayhem”.
 

(With agency inputs)

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