- PM Economic Advisory Council(PMEAC) has challenged former chief economic advisor(CEA) claim that India’s gross domestic product (GDP) was overestimated for most of this decade.
- Recently,former CEA had said that India’s GDP growth in the period 2011-12 to 2016-17 is likely to have been overestimated.He said that the growth during that period was actually 4.5% rather than the 7%.
- He said this because India had changed its data sources and methodology for estimating real gross domestic product(GDP) for the period since 2011-12.
- The problems with the new methodology was that the growth numbers no longer correlated with other indicators of economic growth such as (a)electricity consumption (b)two-wheeler sales (c)airline passenger traffic (d)index of industrial production and (e)export figures.
- However,the EAC asserted that India’s GDP estimation methodology is on par with its global standing while highlighting that former CEC used 17 high-frequency indicators but ignored the representation of the services sector (60% in GDP) and the agriculture sector (18%) in the analysis.
- The EAC also said that former CEC chose to overlook tax data.They said that tax data is not collected through surveys or by agencies but through arcane techniques.These are hard numbers and should be an important indicator of growth.
- Further,EAC said that there was an institutional bias against the Central Statistical Organisation(CSO) as majority of the 17 indicators have been taken directly from Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy(CMIE) which is a private agency that is not a primary source of information but collects it from different sources.
- PMEAC is a non-constitutional, non-permanent and independent body constituted to give economic advice to the Government of India, specifically the Prime Minister.
- The council serves to highlight key economic issues facing the country to the government of India from a neutral viewpoint.It advises the Prime Minister on economic issues like inflation, microfinance, and industrial output.
9 min read