Arun Jaitley defends GDP growth rate revision under previous UPA

Nov 30, 2018, 08:05 IST | Agencies

He said the revised numbers, based on a new formula with 2011-12 as the base year, are globally more comparable as they take into account a far greater representation of the Indian economy and are more reflective of its real state

Arun Jaitley defends GDP growth rate revision under previous UPA
Jaitley at the launch of the book 'Making of New India: Transformation under Modi Government'. Pic/PTI

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday defended the revision in India's GDP growth rate during the previous UPA era, saying it was done by a "highly credible" organisation, the Central Statistics Office (CSO), which maintains an arm's distance from the finance ministry.

He said the revised numbers, based on a new formula with 2011-12 as the base year, are globally more comparable as they take into account a far greater representation of the Indian economy and are more reflective of its real state.

Taking on Opposition Congress for criticising the revision, he said the Congress had welcomed the upwards revision in growth numbers of the last two years of the UPA regime by the same CSO and had gone to the extent of saying that the "the new GDP series has conclusively established that we did not mismanage the economy". Later in a blog post, Jaitley said the revised economic growth data has taken away Congress party's last surviving argument "my GDP growth was higher than yours".

A day after Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava, in an unusual move, announced the revised numbers based on back series data alongside Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, Jaitley said, "I don't think any service is being rendered by people who choose to discredit a highly credible organisation like the CSO because its data is based on facts and the revised formulations, (and it is) a continuous exercise because every time you try and improve upon the formulations to make them more representative of the real state of economy." The new numbers show India's economic growth rate averaged 6.7 per cent during the Congress-led UPA regime as compared to 7.3 per cent under the present government.

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