BJP MPs oppose parliament panel’s draft report against accuracy of GDP data

According to data released on Thursday, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew 5.7% in the last quarter, undershooting market expectations, compared to 6.1% in January-March period.

india Updated: Sep 01, 2017 23:30 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
GDP data,GDP report,India's GDP
A file photo of an employee counting 100-rupee notes inside a private money exchange office in New Delhi.(REUTERS)

A parliamentary panel’s observation that sought to question the reliability of GDP data drew sharp reactions from BJP MPs who questioned the basis of such conclusions and demanded the removal of the paragraph concerned from the committee’s draft report.

Sources privy to the deliberations of the parliamentary standing committee on finance last Tuesday said the panel observed in the draft report that India’s GDP data didn’t seem to fully capture and corroborate the prevailing economic situation. This gave rise to apprehensions that the new methodology might result in projecting inaccurate and possibly inflated GDP and related figures. The panel was chaired by Congress leader Veerappa Moily.

BJP MPs led by Nishikant Dubey, however, stalled the adoption of the report on the review of NSSO and CSO and streamlining of statistics collection machinery. With Moily’s term getting over on Thursday, his successor is now expected
to take a call on the demand made by BJP MPs on the committee.

Former PM Manmohan Singh, who is also a member of the panel, remained silent as BJP MPs protested against the panel’s observation. The BJP MP from Godda sought Singh’s intervention but the former PM heard the arguments and refused to get drawn into the debate.

The accuracy and reliability of GDP estimates and coherence of methodologies used remains a matter of concern for the committee, said the panel in its draft report. It stated that the GDP data should ideally reflect the momentum of all economic activities.

The government has earlier told the panel that central statistics office (CSO) compiled GDP estimates, which was based on UN Guidelines on System of National Accounts.

Asked how the adoption of UN Fundamental Principles on statistics improved the quality of GDP statistics, the government told the panel that official statistics were public goods and they had to comply with certain basic principles such as professional independence, impartiality, accountability and transparency about methods of collection, compilation and dissemination of statistics.

First Published: Sep 01, 2017 23:28 IST