Govt to revamp official data for clearer picture of economy


(This story originally appeared in on Jan 19, 2020)


NEW DELHI: Faced with criticism over quality of data as well as allegations of manipulation, the government has begun discussions on a much-delayed revamp of official statistics, which have been at the centre of a political slugfest during the last few years.


The focus is to capture economic activity more accurately. The initiative came after a series of meetings by NITI Aayog, ministry of statistics and other government agencies revealed major gaps that need fixng immediately to improve the quality of official statistics.


There have been fierce political skirmishes over official data with opposition and a section of experts questioning the higher growth figures in the tenure of the Modi government. Former chief economic adviser Arvind Subramaniam claimed that GDP was actually 2.5 percentage points lower than the official figures. Though criticism tapered as official figures reflected a growth slowdown, and Subramaniam’s assertion was questioned, the government felt the need to take a long, hard look at official data.



While data with the ministry of corporate affairs is seen to be reliable in measuring organised sector activity, sources said, the picture is different when it comes to capital formation or several other financial parameters where numbers may be deficient. For instance, value of land or paid-up capital does not often capture the market value, especially when the entity has been in business for years.


Sources said that successive statisticians have failed to implement recommendations of the C Rangarajan committee, which submitted its report during the Atal Bihari Vajpayee government. While the idea is to use that as a starting point, including enacting a legislation for which a draft bill has been floated for public consultation, the government is expected to rope in the World Bank to use global best practices. Besides, the states will be an important partner in data collection with technology to be harnessed, said sources familiar with the discussions.

消息人士说,历任统计学家都未能执行C Rangarajan委员会的建议,该委员会在阿塔尔比哈里-瓦杰帕伊政府期间提交了报告。虽然这一想法是以此为出发点,包括颁布一项法案草案已提交公众磋商的立法,但预计政府将在世界银行采取全球最佳做法。此外,知情人士表示,美国将成为数据收集的重要合作伙伴,并利用相关技术。

Pronab Sen, who was the country’s first chief statistician, blames lack of resources for some of the problems. “A substantial number of recommendations of the Rangarajan committee have been implemented,” said Sen, who later became chairman of the National Statistical Commission. “You need more manpower. Getting additional resources in the government is a major problem,” he added. Sen is now heading a panel set up to revamp statistics.


Asked whether there was an underestimation of GDP as a result of the outdated parameters, Sen said: “You have no idea which way the bias is.” Another former chief statistician, who did not wish to be quoted, said a significant number of recommendations of the Rangarajan Committee had been implemented but the actual number cannot be computed.



译文来源:三泰虎     http://www.santaihu.com/49233.html      译者:Joyceliu 

Ken Nihon

this is 100% the right thing to do, and long outstanding. Finally, good governance will be there, based on real and complete data, based on current structure of Indian economy, not on what the marxsts of Sonia together with Bengal mafia like Pronon Sen gave, which is full of inadequacies. And data should come timely, like it does in the USA.



Srivatsava Rajagopalan

Let government do this exercise, they would be surprised to find that the base earnings of even the road side eateries have shrunk



Madan R

If this is an excercise to improve the system and not to prove that i have done better, then its a good excercise. Just to blame opposition we dont need to waste t time and public money by this laggard govt



Amrit Verma

A new way is going to be invented to fool the public. But as in the past they will be exposed as data actual data will speak itself



Amitabha Bhattacharjee

Nothing but to bring small businesses in the GST net



Nachiket Katha

As Pronab Sen himself told Karan Thapar they may put the report in cold storage as more than 100 such reports are in past. It Modi was serious about data he would immediately gone for Sample Survey of informal sector in 2018 itself to work out new coefficients between informal and formal sector which would have shown actual recession (and only growth of 2-3 per cent which economist believe now to be fact) for last 2-3 years.

正如普罗纳布·森自己告诉Karan Thapar的那样,他们可能会把这份报告冷藏起来,因为过去已经有过100多份这样的报告了。莫迪认真看待数据,他2018年就会对非公部门进行抽样调查,查看非公和公共部门之间的的新系数,绝对能反映过去2 - 3年真实的经济衰退情况(增长率只有经济学家现在相信的2-3%)。


Satendra Yadav

I am sure modi govt will do everything possible in its kitty...except running a govt itself!



Sanjay Mehta

Thank you Hemant ji! Sensible ppl , who can see through governments blunders, are last hope for this country .



Conservative Joe

More rigging to come in the name of "transparency."



Hemant Pisat

Sanjay Mehta you are right.

Sanjay Mehta 你是对的。


Sanjay Mehta

Government is hyper sensitive about it's image and extremely desensitive about the ground reality and the precarious situation and hardhip about common ppl. Come what may they will reach 5 tn economy by statistics jugglery and paid media will make ppl believe this.



Sanjay Mehta

So finally they will show the ravaged economy to 5 trillion by revam data. this government is too self absorbed and care more about its image rather than economy or it's ppl.



Vishwanath Patige

Revam is economy is preferable to revam data.



Ken Nihon

Revam economy should be done based on CURRENT, COMPLETE, and CORRECT data. Not outdated data on the economy. So this is a good step.




Was the data current, complete and correct, when the economy was growing at respectable rate in the earlier years? However if one cares for the welfare of the nation, efforts to calibrate the data should be honest. Nothing can be hidden before public.



Dillip Patnaik

The 3rd grader got lost in math. Wandering what to do. India got a dumb PM.




There should be ways to somehow calculate unorganized sector of the economy, which gets unnoticed always.



Hemant Pisat

Data is largely a support, but if you have rational policies and agendas that culminates growth to implement, it doesn't really matter immediately to know the exact figures. Since these guys are obsessed with $5 trillion by 2024; proving the numbers now becomes pretty important. Depleting standards of polity by all parties. I only hope global sentiments remain positive still for India.



Satendra Yadav

After 6 years, this govt is still clueless about formula to have a clear picture of economy..I know Modi himself and his govt is full of morons having NO clue what's going on...but, i wonder on their staunch supporters who still thinks and believe this bluff master would bring ACCHHE DIN!!! keep slee, we are already in Stagflation zone now!!!



Manu Singh

another round of fake data in making



Ankit Porwal

Numbers can tell you a lot about the economy provided the process of getting to that number is correct and integrity is maintained. Maybe Govt has realised this sooner then later




Numbers are just manifestation of living. Has living improved or deteriorated ? Certainly the later.



Chandrashekar Kini

It is perhaps time that key economic data is generated by an independent body accountable to Parliament like the CAG.



True Indian

Man Ought to Destroy India



Bhanu S

That means more fake data



Yashodhan Muzumdar

a government whose hall mark has been to fudge all figures can not take U turn and expose itself.



Viplov Bhandari

revam or fudging?



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