New chief economist
While in Washington recently to attend IMF and World Bank meetings, finance minister P Chidambaram had raised doubts about the accuracy of India’s GDP growth estimates made by these institutions. This week, he again publicly questioned the IMF and World Bank numbers. Even as he had given the latest data from banks to show that there was enough investor interest in India despite some people “painting a gloomy picture”, he was asked about the reasons for the country’s macro-economic parameters as well as the estimates of IMF and World Bank not sharing the government’s optimism. Chidambaram shot back saying there was a difference between the growth estimates of IMF and World Bank even based on factor cost and dismissed such forecast as “just estimates”. He then quipped that if he knew why the chief economists of IMF and World Bank cannot agree on the growth estimates, he would perhaps have become the chief economist of both the organisations.