The Central Statistics Office (CSO), which comes under Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI), will release the back-series of India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth by mid-June. The ministry had earlier planned to release the back-series along with the release of provisional estimate of GDP for 2015-16 scheduled for May 31.
The delay in release of the back-series has primarily been on account of difficulty in sourcing of data for companies for years prior to launch of MCA21 database, a senior government official said.
“We have been collating data for institutions, organised and unorganised sectors. The new GDP series included MCA21 data for companies, but it’s for years before the launch of MCA21 that we have been facing difficulties in preparing the back series. We have been tapping sources for data regarding companies and had even written to the RBI for providing us information about the same,” the official said.
The ministry is also preparing documentation detailing the methodology for the calculation of the back series of the revised GDP, the official added.
The CSO is also working with states to align the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) with the new series having base year 2011-12. Barring Sikkim, Tripura and West Bengal, all states and Union territories have finalised the estimates of new series with base year 2011-12. The CSO had released the provisional GDP figures linked to new base year in February 2016 and will now release the final GSDP estimates for states by next three months, the official said.
The new GDP series, for which base year was changed to 2011-12 from 2004-05, has incorporated MCA21 data to measure value added for the manufacturing sector. Ministry of Corporate Affairs had launched MCA21 project in 2006, under its e-governance programme, enabling companies to electronically file their financial results.
The revised GDP data released by CSO in January last year had puzzled most economists as the growth rates were much higher than the earlier series. According to the revised GDP data, the Indian economy grew 6.9 per cent in 2013-14 compared with the earlier estimate of 4.7 per cent. The new growth data also revised GDP growth rates for 2012-13 and 2014-15 to 5.1 per cent and 7.3 per cent, respectively.
Many economists had criticised the new data saying that they were in variance to other macroeconomic indicators, with the Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian even terming the new GDP data as “puzzling”.
The revision of GDP data by CSO was not only on account of a change in methodology and base year but also on inclusion of new data. The CSO now measures GDP at market prices instead of factor costs. Also, according to the new methodology followed by the CSO, GDP is calculated by adding product taxes to Gross Value Added (GVA) at basic prices and removing subsidies.
The release of the revised Index of Industrial Production (IIP) has also been delayed. The ministry had earlier planned to release the new IIP series from April 2016, the data for which will be released in June.
“Comments from National Statistical Commission are awaited regarding the new IIP series. Then, it will require approval of Committee of Secretaries. So, it is likely to miss the June deadline,” the official said.
Based on the recommendations of the working group headed by former Planning Commission Member Saumitra Chaudhuri, the MoSPI had planned to introduce a new IIP series with effect from April 2016. The new IIP series will have the base year of 2011-12, the same as that for other macroeconomic data along with major changes in the basket of items.