NSSO casts fresh doubts on economy figures

Chennai: A government agency report has cast fresh doubts on India’s economic growth figures, stating that it has found ‘significant’ gaps in how the country’s growth figures are calculated.

Data compiled by India’s National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) found that more than one-third of companies included in a database used to calculate India’s economic growth were “closed, out of coverage, or non-traceable”.

The government uses the the MCA-21 database in calculating the Gross Domestic Product and the Gross Value Added.

Titled “Technical Report on Service Sector Enterprises in India”, the survey found that out of the 39 per cent out-of-survey units in MCA, 21 per cent were found to be out of coverage and another 12 per cent were non-traceable.

In case of EC and BR frames, nearly six per cent and 14 per cent were out of coverage respectively even though there were updations of these two frames, said the report that was released last week, It came to light after Mint came out with it.

The revision, based on a new way of calculating GDP that was introduced four years ago, saw average growth under the previous government from the year 2005-2012 fall below the number recorded by the ruling party.

The new data is the second time this year that statistics released by a government agency have threatened to embarrass the government. In January, data leaked from the Statistics Ministry showed India’s unemployment rate hitting a 45-year-high of 6.1 per cent in 2017-18.

It must be noted that GDP growth slowed from 7.1 per cent to 6.6 per cent in the third quarter of the 2018-19 financial year, according to data released in February.

NT Bureau