New GDP Series More Reflective Of Real Economy, Says Arun Jaitley
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley defended the revision in India's gross domestic product growth rate during the previous United Progressive Alliance era, saying the Central Statistics Office, which came out with the revised numbers, was a credible organisation and maintains arm's length distance from the Finance Ministry.
A day after Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava 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 those who discredit the highly credible organisation, CSO."
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram had Wednesday called the revision a "bad joke."
Jaitley said when the CSO had revised upward the growth rate of 2012-13 and 2013-14, the then government had welcomed the decision.
The same yardstick has been applied by the CSO while revising the growth downwards, he said.
Just months before the general elections, the country's economic growth rate during the previous Congress-led UPA regime was lowered on Wednesday, 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.
"Now that Niti Aayog has done the hatchet job, it is time to wind up the utterly worthless body," Chidambaram had tweeted. "The earlier numbers were calculated by the National Statistical Commission. Has the commission been disbanded?"