Arun Jaitley hits back at Congress on GDP back series data row, says CSO a credible institution

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Updated: November 29, 2018 1:05:30 PM

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit back at Congress over the GDP back series data row, saying that it chose to criticise the yardstick only after the growth was lowered.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit back at Congress over the GDP back series data rowFinance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit back at Congress over the GDP back series data row

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Thursday hit back at Congress over the GDP back series data row, saying that it chose to criticise the yardstick only after the growth was lowered. He defended the findings of the Central Statistics Office, saying that it is a credible institution and that politics over its credibility was unbecoming.

“Earlier, the Congress had lauded the back series data formula when it showed an increase in growth. Now, we have calculated the data using the same yardstick which shows a lower growth rate, they are questioning the credibility of the CSO,” Jaitley said.

The CSO is an independent body and maintains arms length distance with the Finance Minister, the finance minister said, adding that the new GDP series is more reflective of the real state of Indian economy and globally more comparable.

NITI Aayog and CSO on Wednesday released the GDP back series data, which showed slower economic growth compared to old series in the UPA-era between 2005-06 and 2013-14. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram earlier in the day criticised the new series data and called it a “bad joke and hatchet job”.

In 2014, the base year for national accounts was changed 2011-12 from 2004-05 to include more sectors into GDP calculation with an aim to give a more realistic picture of the economic growth. The revised average annual growth rate for the nine years between 2005-06 and 2013-14 (all UPA years), now stands at just 6.7%, against 7.35% recorded in the first four years of the NDA.

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