Montek questions estimate process

Last Updated: Fri, Feb 08, 2013 05:17 hrs

Even as the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO) has estimated growth in gross domestic product (GDP) in 2012-13 at a 10-year low of five per cent, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia has questioned the manner in which CSO arrived at the estimate.

"I am not certain whether they (CSO) have done it in a correct way. In the past, too, quarterly (GDP) data was frequently adjusted," Ahluwalia said. "I get the impression they (CSO) have not actually addressed the question could it be the (decline in the) economy has bottomed out?' In that case, a straight-forward linear projection would not be right.

"I think it (the growth projection) is very low. I have been told CSO has taken data from April to November (2012-13) and they just projected it (advance estimates)."

Asked whether five per cent growth for 2012-13 was overstated, he replied, "I don't think so. They underestimated 2010-11. When they raised that to 9.3 per cent, the 2011-12 figure fell to 6.2 per cent…I don't think they even have full data for November (2012). They have some production data and some credit data."

On the rise in per capita income for 2012-13 to Rs 68,747, he said, "The rise …is simply because earlier, economic growth rates were higher (in 2010-11 and 2011-12)."

"It (growth in 2012-13) will certainly be below six per cent…But I would not change the average annual growth rate target (of eight per cent) in the 12th Plan."

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