oppn parties Economic Data Should Not Be Window Dressed

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  • EMI's set to rise after the RBI hikes key policy rate
  • Calcutta HC says that the right to privacy does not end with the death of a person
  • Supreme Court says that a delayed order of preventive detention makes it invalid
  • Shashi Tharoor posts an erronous map of India in his manifesto, rectifies the error after criticism
  • Sonia Gandhi to take a call on who will be Rajasthan chief minister
  • Mallikarujun Kharge to be the new candidate to oppose Shashi Tharoor in the Congress presidential elections
  • RBI says that the September inflation rate may be higher than 7%
  • RBI hikes key rates by 50bps, downwardly revises FY23 growth rate to 7% from 7.2% earlier
  • Stocks recover well on Friday: Sensex gains 1016 points to0 57426 and Nifty 276 points to 17094
  • Mirabai Chanu wins gold easily at the National Games
  • In a first, the Supreme Court recognizes marital rape, although for the limited purpose of allowing married women the right of abortion up to 24 weeks if they conceived as a result of forced sex by their husbands
  • Air India cuts discounts on base fare to students and senior citizens from 50% to 25%
  • Mallikarjun Kharge and Digvijay Singh are being touted as frontrunners to take on Shashi Tharoor in the elections for the post of Congress president
  • Sonia Gandhi will decide who will be Rajasthan CM if she feels there is a need to change guard after the near-rebellion by MLAs in the state
  • Ashok Gehlot bowed out of the race for being Congress president after meeting Sonia Gandhi
RBI hikes key rates by 50bps, stocks jump and recover 50% of the losses incurred in the last few session
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Economic Data Should Not Be Window Dressed

By Sunil Garodia
First publised on 2018-12-01 08:57:22

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator.
It needs to be recognized that modern economy – in fact, even society – is increasingly being driven by data. Hence, it is imperative that data collection, analysis and presentation are robust, timely and credible. Since the Indian economy is in the top six in the world and growing at a good rate, both domestic and international investors look to invest here and their decisions are largely based on sectoral data and related policy decisions of the government. The government also takes policy decisions based on economic data.

Hence, frequent tinkering with back data confuses economists and investors and is not good for generating inflow of funds in the economy or for formulating policy. The NDA government has shifted the base year for calculations from 2004-05 to 2011-12. While there is nothing intrinsically wrong in this as it brings data closer to current prices given that inflation skews the figures over time, the effects have triggered a political row. The new set of back data show that the growth rate during the first four years of UPA I & II was 6.7%, much lower than the earlier figure of 8.1% (with 2004-05 as base) and lower than the 7.4% achieved under NDA in the last four years (with 2011-12 as base).

Periodic updating of the base year is necessary and is done in all economies across the globe. It is not as if the UPA growth rate has been rubbished by the new set of data. Those who understand economics, statistics and data will always talk about growth rates as per the base year from which they are calculated. Hence, there is no need for political squabbling. But it also needs to be stressed that frequent tinkering with data, window dressing figures and presenting them in slanted way is not proper and should be avoided at all costs.