Rajiv Kumar also defended the involvement of NITI Aayig in the calculation of the new series data.
As the new series GDP data showed a lower economic growth in the UPA-era between 2005-06 and 2013-14, former Finance Minister P Chidambaram criticised the government on Thursday, also taking a jibe at NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar. On Wednesday, the official GDP back series data was released by Kumar and along with chief statistician Pravin Srivastava.
“Niti Aayog’s revised GDP numbers are a joke. They are a bad joke… Actually they are worse than a bad joke. The numbers are the result of a hatchet job,” P Chidambaram posted on Twitter. He said that NITI Aayog has done the hatchet job with the GDP back series data. “It is time to wind up the utterly worthless body,” he said.
Meanwhile, he also accused Rajiv Kumar of not answering questions from reporters.
I wonder if Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar will agree to a debate the data than telling journalists that their questions are “undeserving of an answer”.
— P. Chidambaram (@PChidambaram_IN) November 28, 2018
On this, Rajiv Kumar responded to the senior Congress leader: Challenge accepted. Let’s discuss & dissect back series data.
Hon. @PChidambaram_IN Ji,challenge accepted.Let’s discuss & dissect back series data.I gave 3 hrs of detailed interview yesterday & it is somewhat disingenuous of you to say that I asked the media to not ask questions. Do give more coherent reasons for ur difficulty with new data https://t.co/RxF38JZutx
— Rajiv Kumar ???????? (@RajivKumar1) November 29, 2018
Rajiv Kumar also defended the involvement of NITI Aayog in the calculation of the new series data. “Niti Aayog uses data extensively for making logical policy recommendations. The data is always based on assessment & quality check by eminent statisticians,” he posted on Twitter.
After the release of data, former chairman of the National Statistical Commission Pronab Sen questioned the Niti Aayog’s unusual move to release the GDP data, saying it’s the prerogative of the Central Statistics Organisation, which also found a mention in Chidambaram’s tweets.
Therefore, it was logical for @NITIAayog to provide the platform for its release. Pronab Sen would know that MOSPI & Yojana Bhavan worked closely together.
— Rajiv Kumar (@RajivKumar1) November 29, 2018
The revised GDP data showed an average growth of just 6.7% against 7.35% recorded in the first four years of the NDA.