Is India Using Fake Stats to Show Economic Development?

Manmohan Singh
Manmohan Singh

The Prime Minister (PM) of India Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley have missed no opportunity to claim that the economy is back on track and that inflation is under control, said a Congress statement last week.

During the earlier Congress-led UPA regime, according to Congress, Modi’s party BJP left no opportunity to claim that GDP growth rate was languishing around 5%.

Jaitley in the Arab-India Economic Forum said India will grow at 7.3%. What he won’t admit is that his own government’s data tells a very different story.

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Firstly, Congress says, the current BJP government changed the base year for the calculation of GDP. If you go by BJP’s formula, the UPA recorded the best ever decadal growth since Independence, Congress claims.

Under the new calculation method, the average growth under UPA-I was 8% and under UPA-II was 7.5%. Even during its final year, UPA-II managed an impressive 6.9% growth, Congress claims.

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How would the BJP government have fared under the old GDP calculation method? The Bank of America-Merrill Lynch (BoFA-ML), according to Congress, has now claimed that if measured by the old series, NDA’s economic growth would have been only 5.2%.

It further add that GDP at Current Prices is closer to 6% than 7.3%, showing clearly that Modi’s government has no clue how to run the economy, Congress says.

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Congress told Modi in its statement that jugglery of numbers does not help. “The ‘growth’ and ‘development’ you are trying to project through your ‘Modi-fied’ numbers has to be visible on ground.”

Congress party used previous PM Manmohan Singh’s picture to substantiate its claims regarding the economic situation in the country. However, no statement was clearly attributed to him.

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Rakesh Raman