oppn parties Economic Data Should Not Be Window Dressed

News Snippets

  • Rain deficit seen in India in january for the first time in 5 years
  • Heavy snowfall disrupts life in J&K, Himachal and Uttarakhand
  • Centre says Teesta Setalvad's politics is divisive and opposes her plea on conversion law
  • The ASI who shot and killed Odisha health minister Naba Kishor Das might have done so to extract revenge as the minister had rebuffed him
  • Law minister Kiren Rijiju says pleas against BBC documentary are a waste of court's precious time
  • Self-styled godman Asaram held guilty of rape and sodomy. he is already serving life term for another conviction in a rape case
  • Supreme Court to hear pleas against the ban on BBC documentary on Gujarat riots and Prime Minister Modi
  • Adani Enterprises FPO subscribed just 3% in 2 days
  • Hindenburg slams Adani response to its report, says nationalism cannot be an excuse for fraud
  • Gold hits new high in India: traded at Rs 57149 per 10 gms
  • Adani Group companies continue to bleed although Adani Enterprises reversed the trend to gain on Monday
  • Markets end positive after a highly volatile session on Monday: Sensex gains 169 points to 59500 and Nifty 44 points to 17648
  • Satellite images show significant increase in night lights in India with some states growing at 43% in 10 years and some even 400%. Economists consider this as indicator of growth
  • Bombay HC has ruled that there will be no parole for TADA victims in Maharashtra
  • Courts handed out the death sentence to 165 accused in 2022, the highest in 40 years
Investors lose Rs 5.6 lakh crore as Adani Group companies lose 29% market value in three days and the carnage is continuing
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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.