India not fixing GDP politically; need to upgrade data quality: Arvind Subramanian

The CEA's statement assumes significance as experts and economists have raised doubts on India's 2016-17 growth forecast of 7.1 per cent despite the impact of demonetisation in the third quarter of the financial year.

By: ENS Economic Bureau | New Delhi | Published: April 8, 2017 2:40 am
 India, GDP, Arvind Subramanian, China, India GDP, Gross Domestic product, income distribution, poverty, indian economy, indian express Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian

Dispelling doubts regarding India’s GDP data, Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian on Friday said that India is not politically fixing its economic numbers like China, but needs to upgrade the quality of data.

“I do believe very firmly that India is not China, we are not politically fixing the numbers by any means, but that being said, I do think that we need to make sure that the quality, the technology, the data collection etc are updated so that we can dispel convincingly that people should have confidence in the kind of measurements we make on GDP and across the board, employment, infrastructure…,” Subramanian said Friday at the launch of book titled ‘Poverty and Income Distribution in India’.

The CEA’s statement assumes significance as experts and economists have raised doubts on India’s 2016-17 growth forecast of 7.1 per cent despite the impact of demonetisation in the third quarter of the financial year.

According to the Central Statistics Office (CSO), India’s economy expanded by 7 per cent in the third quarter of last financial year, belying fears that note ban would have severely impacted economic activity.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) had also retained the growth projection for 2016-17 at 7.1 per cent.

The Chief Economic Adviser said: “There is something to lament the fact that our data collection, measurement etc are not what country like India’s status and aspiration should have and we are to blame for this.” He also stressed that all estimates should come out with an error estimate.

Noting that the last poverty measure was done in 2011-12 and the next one is going to be probably come out in early 2019, the CEA said, “So there is going is to be lag of 6-8 years, when we will know what is happening to poverty.”

Subramanian also said that the government is considering annual survey on urban employment soon.

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