Missing firms in MCA database don't impact GDP data: Centre

Last Updated: Thu, May 09, 2019 12:13 hrs
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New Delhi: Facing flak over the latest NSSO report which showed discrepancy in the MCA-21 database, the Central government on Wednesday said that the non-traceability of several companies in the database does not impact the existing GDP or GVA estimates.

Doubts about veracity of the new series of GDP launched in 2015 resurfaced after a new National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) report showed that around 39 per cent of companies in the MCA-21 database, used for GDP calculation, could not be traced or surveyed.

A statement by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, issued later in the evening, said: "It is emphasised that there is no impact on the existing GDP/GVA estimates for the corporate sector as due care is taken to appropriately adjust the corporate filings at the aggregate level based on the paid-up capital."

The ministry also said that the NSSO survey was commissioned by it to understand the data gaps and take remedial steps while undertaking the new base revision exercise for the proposed 2017-18 series.

"The results of this NSSO report will be further examined by the advisory committee before finalising the approach and methodology for the proposed 2017-18 series."

In the Technical Report on Services Sector Enterprises in India, the NSSO said: "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 (which in number is nearly 4,000 units)."

These companies were described as "active" companies by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

The revelation drew flak as they cast further shadow on the new series of GDP data, which had showed significant drop in the growth estimate for the UPA.

The usage of MCA-21 data was started with the new series in 2015, instead of the previous data taken from the Reserve Bank of India. Several statisticians and economists had raised concerns over the accuracy of the data since its inception.

In defence of the veracity of its statistics and data, the Ministry mentioned, in its statement, that India has subscribed to the Special Data Dissemination Standards of the International Monetary Fund "which requires that macro-economic data would be disseminated within the prescribed periodicity and timeliness conforming to the data standards laid down along with information on the detailed statistical practices or metadata".