The Ministry of Statistics on Monday re-uploaded a report that had pointed to double-digit Gross Domestic Product growth under the Congress-run United Progressive Alliance government, adding a disclaimer that the data was not “final” and should “not be quoted anywhere.”
The ministry said that the methodology to prepare the back-series GDP data, prepared by a panel appointed by the current Bharatiya Janata Party-run government, had “not yet been finalised and various alternative methods are being explored”.
“The reports have not been approved by National Statistical Commission or MoSPI [Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation],” it said. The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation on Sunday had said that the back series data on Gross Domestic Product released in July are “not official estimates”.
The estimates in the reports “are meant only to facilitate taking a decision on the appropriate approach”, the ministry said. “These recommendations of the NSC [National Statistical Commission] committees will be examined by MoSPI and other experts for deciding on the appropriate methodology to be adopted for generating the Back Series estimates for each sector,” it said.
The “back series data” – or older data based on the new series – on GDP was prepared by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics, which submitted its report to the Centre on July 15. The committee was set up by the National Statistical Commission. The report was released on July 25.
According to the data, India’s economy has grown at over 10% twice in terms of market prices since the country opened up its economy in 1991. Both the instances were during the United Progressive Alliance rule. Economists and analysts have been waiting for the government’s official working of back-series GDP ever since India changed its methodology for calculating GDP in 2015.
“As the report of the Committee on Real Sector Statistics is in the public domain, there seems to be some confusion in a section of the media as also amongst a few economists and academicians that back series data of GDP has been officially released by the MoSPI,” the National Statistical Commission said.
The Congress had claimed that the fresh data showed that, under the two terms of the UPA governemnt, the economy grew faster than the average growth in the four years of the Narendra Modi government. Union minister Arun Jaitley responded by questioning the “quality” of GDP growth under the UPA.