The official “back series data” – or older data based on the new series – showed that the country’s grown at over 10% twice in terms of market prices since the country opened up its economy in 1991, both the instances being during the United Progressive Alliance rule. The numbers were earlier thought of to be slightly lower.
The country switched to the base year 2011-’12 three years ago to calculate its economic growth. Data for earlier years, therefore, were considered incomparable to data for later years, which were calculated based on a new method. This is the first time that older figures have been released based on the new series, thus making them comparable.
“The estimates in the report are not official estimates and are meant only to facilitate taking a decision on the appropriate approach,” the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said in a statement. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led central government said the committee’s recommendations will be studied by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation and other experts who will decide on the best methodology to calculate the Back Series estimates for each sector.
The report was submitted to the Centre on July 15. The committee was set up by the National Statistical Commission. The report was released on July 25.
UPA achieved highest decadal growth: Congress
Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Sunday claimed that the report showed that the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance-ruled administrations delivered the highest decadal growth since independence.
Chidambaram accused the National Democratic Alliance government of creating confusion on the growth statistics by changing the base year for the calculations from 2004-’05 to 2011-’12. “Since the advent of the BJP-led NDA government in May 2014, there has been a determined effort to run down the record of the two UPA governments under Dr Manmohan Singh during 2004-2009 and 2009-2014,” Chidambaram said.
Chidamabaram said the report which, compares growth rates between old series (2004-’05) and new series based on 2011-’12 prices, shows that the average growth rate under the UPA-1 government was 8.87%. The former finance minister said that in 2006-’07, the UPA administration achieved a double digit growth rate of 10.08% and managed a 7.39% during its second tenure.
The Congress leader claimed the Narendra Modi-led government was on a backfoot because of its policies on “demonetisation, tax terrorism and a flawed implementation of the Goods and Services Tax”.
Chidamabaram said “high growth with equity and social justice” have taken a hit under the current administration. “For the sake of the country, we wish the government well in its fifth year. We know it cannot match the average growth rate of UPA 1, but we hope it can catch up with the average growth rate of UPA 2,” Chidambaram said.