16 January, 2021

What's The Real Story?

Poll-eve, the government releases data that says GDP grew 7.5 per cent last year. Can we believe it?

What's The Real Story?
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53
"There are significant areas of weakness.... The most worrisome is the decline in growth of agricultural crop production to 0.9 per cent in 1995-96." P. Chidambaram's budget speech 1996-97. Exactly a year later, even the "provisional" estimates put 1995-96 farm growth at a negative 3.4 per cent.

INDIA'S gross domestic product (GDP) clocked in a high growth of 7.5 per cent in 1996-97. So says the latest National Accounts Statistics released unusually quietly on February 7. These are the 'quick' estimates, or the first-flush data with the government, what we writers call back-of-the-envelope calculations. The only other times India achieved such growth rates were twice in the '80s, and once in the '70s. Last year's Asian-Tiger-like growth was achieved despite many scary forecasts both the government and the premier research organisation NCAER had expected GDP to grow around 6.5 per cent. 1996-97, after all, had been a dull year with the new government coming in only in July!

Pinch of salt? Seek and ye shall not find. That seems to be the motto of the Central Statistical...

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