Business Economy 04 Jun 2016 India admits to erro ...

India admits to errors in GDP

PTI
Published Jun 4, 2016, 1:00 am IST
Updated Jun 4, 2016, 1:00 am IST
Chief statistician says discrepancies soared to Rs 2.14 lakh in fiscal 2016.
The GDP at current prices for 2015-16 was pegged at Rs 135.76 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 8.7 per cent.
 The GDP at current prices for 2015-16 was pegged at Rs 135.76 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 8.7 per cent.

New Delhi: Admitting to “some discrepancies” in the GDP data, which soared to Rs 2.14 lakh crore in 2015-16 or up to 1.9 per cent, chief statistician T.C.A. Anant on Friday said that the government is making efforts to minimise them.

Some discrepancies in national accounts will always be there because of the delay in reporting of information by various agencies, including state governments but the effort is to report data as accurately as possible, he said when asked about the reasons of high levels of “discrepancies” in the GDP numbers for 2015-16.

 

Mr Anant said that the government is making efforts to minimise discrepancies in computation of the national income or GDP data by relying more on data available under e-governance programmes and corporate accounts.

Discrepancies in the statistical GDP data refer to the difference in national income under production method and expenditure method. While Mr Anant did not give any numbers, the recently released GDP figures showed the discrepancies in 2015-16 stood at as high Rs 2.15 lakh crore, as against (-) Rs 35,284 crore in the previous fiscal.

In 2015-16 data of national income, the rates of discrepancies at current and constant (2011-12) prices are estimated at 0.1 per cent and 1.9 per cent respectively of the GDP. It stood at 0.4 per cent and (-)0.3 per cent respectively in 2014-15.

The data released earlier this week pegged the real GDP or GDP at constant prices for the fiscal 2015-16 at Rs 113.50 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 7.6 per cent — the highest among major economies of the world. In the pervious year, it was Rs 104.27 lakh crore.

The GDP at current prices for 2015-16 was pegged at Rs 135.76 lakh crore, showing a growth rate of 8.7 per cent. In the pervious year, it was Rs 123.41 lakh crore. “Some initial statements that this is the highest discrepancy ever is simply not true... Discrepancies partly get reduced as we get more information to improve the allocation,” he said.

According to him, discrepancy occurs because alongside the production figure, the government also compile the expenditure estimate which is principally based on some rules of thumb. “This allocation does not completely explain the expenditure side accurately. The difference between the two estimates thus becomes the discrepancy,” he said.

“As the information basis improve, the levels of timelines improve, the errors will gradually come down,” he added. Mr Anant said the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, which releases the GDP data, gets updated export and import data by the time of January.

Availability of timely data on government account and corporate account would narrow down the discrepancy, he said, adding “as long as we are doing an allocation by rules of thumb, the source of discrepancy will always be there and it fluctuates... Sometimes discrepancy is very high, sometimes very low, sometimes it is positive and sometimes it is negative.” He said in the old series discrepancies were as high as 6 per cent. “In current prices, the discrepancies were 6 per cent in 2012-13 in the estimates released in January. It was 5.8 per cent for estimates released in 2007-08. So there have been many years, where discrepancies have been high,” he said.

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