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NSSO finds GDP new series data faulty; 36% companies under Corporate Affairs Ministry database wrongly classified

The gross domestic numbers are under scrutiny as a key database introduced in the new GDP series is found to be faulty.

In November 2018, the government lowered the country's economic growth rate during the previous Congress-led UPA regime, shaving off over 1 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 percent 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 percent in the financial year 2010-11 (April 2010 to March 2011) and not at 10.3 per cent as previously estimated.

 NSSO finds GDP new series data faulty; 36% companies under Corporate Affairs Ministry database wrongly classified

Representational image. Reuters.

However, a report in Mint quoting a study conducted by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) in the 12-months ended June 2017 and released last week has found that as much as 36 percent of companies that are part of the MCA-21 database of companies and are used in India’s GDP calculations could not be traced or were wrongly classified.

“This is a devastating blow for CSO," said R Nagaraj, a professor at the Indira Gandhi Institute of Development Research in Mumbai, told Mint.

The so-called back-series data released in November 2018 is in contrast to an August 2018 report by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics appointed by the National Statistical Commission (NSC), the autonomous body that helps in collection of data by India's statistical agencies.

In the report, which the government had subsequently stated was a draft seeking comments from stakeholders, the economy grew at a faster pace under the UPA government from 2004-05 to 2013-14, compared with the average growth during the first four years of the current government.

It had put the GDP growth at 10.08 percent in 2006-07 under the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the highest since the liberalisation of the economy in 1991. The highest ever growth rate since Independence was stated to be at 10.2 percent in 1988-89 when Rajiv Gandhi was the prime minister.

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Updated Date: May 08, 2019 13:46:55 IST