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India’s GDP number still has some issues, says Gita Gopinath

India’s GDP number still has  some issues, says Gita Gopinath
Gita Gopinath
Mumbai, Apr 12 (IANS) | Publish Date: 4/12/2019 12:28:23 PM IST

After 108 economists and former RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan, International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Chief Economist Gita Gopinath has expressed doubt over India’s growth rate, saying that there are still some issues with the way India calculates it.

This comes as a blow for the government as the key argument that senior officials in the NDA government have consistently made is that the GDP figures are accepted by global organisations like the World Bank and the IMF.  “With regards to the newer numbers that are coming out, we are paying close attention to it, we are speaking closely to our colleagues in India and then we will make a determination based on that,” said Gopinath.

While she welcomed the changes made to the GDP calculation in 2015, including the change in base year, she also flagged concerns over the “deflator” used to calculate the real GDP. 

“There were important revisions that were made in 2015 as a part of modernizing India’s national accounts statistics, so that is certainly welcome. That said there are still some issues that need to be fixed and this we have flagged before with respect to the deflator that is being used for estimating real GDP... this is something we have flagged in the past,” Gopinath said.

Several experts have expressed doubt over the unemployment, growth rate figures and have alleged that the government was suppressing uncomfortable data. Former Reserve Bank of India Governor Rajan said in a TV interview: “I know one Minister has said how can we be growing at 7 per cent and not have jobs. Well, one possibility is that we are not growing at 7 per cent.”

Earlier this year, a report citing National Sample Survey Office’s PLFS data, the publication of which was withheld, revealed that unemployment in the country was at a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.

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