Flag of the Indian National Congress. (Photo credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons)
New Delhi, November 28 (IANS): The Congress on Wednesday accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley of resorting to “malicious and fraudulent jugglery” of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures to hide the “enormous body blow” caused by them to India’s economy.
“Failed ‘Modinomics’ plus a ‘pakoda economic vision’ has sunk India’s economy in complete turmoil. A despotic Prime Minister and ‘pseudo economist’ Finance Minister have repeatedly caused economic mayhem by the ill-conceived decisions of demonetisation, a flawed GST coupled with tax terrorism,” Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala said.
“Faced with utter and complete rejection of the ‘voodoo economics’ of Modi and Jaitley duo, they are resorting to malicious and fraudulent jugglery of GDP figures to hide the enormous body blow caused by them to India’s economy,” he said.
His remarks came after the government on Wednesday released the much awaited back-series estimates for India’s GDP which showed a lower rate of growth during the UPA years between 2005-06 and 2011-12 than what was estimated using the earlier methodology.
Surjewala alleged that the entire GDP back series data released by the Centre reflects the desperate attempt of a “defeatist Modi government” to undermine India’s growth story over last 15 years.
“Congress party had repeatedly pointed out that, when the base year was changed, the government should follow the healthy international practice and revise the numbers for the previous years. We had demanded that the back series data of GVA and GDP should be calculated and released so that meaningful comparisons can be made.
“The back series data as released by National Statistical Commission (NSC) in August 2018 is available in public domain. The numbers prove the dictum that truth cannot be suppressed,” Surjewala said.
The Congress Spokesperson said that UPA 1 and UPA 2 delivered the highest decadal growth (8.13 per cent at factor cost) since Independence.
It is also a matter of record that during this period 140 million people were lifted out of poverty, he said, adding the three best years were 2005-06, 2006-07 and 2007-08.
“Arvind Subramanian called them the “boom years”. That golden run would have continued but for the international financial crisis that hit the world in September 2008.”
He said when the UPA demitted office, economic growth had recovered to 6.39 per cent (at market prices) in 2013-14. “Besides, the fiscal deficit had been reduced to 4.48 per cent and the current account deficit had been contained at 1.7per cent.”
Surjewala accused that the revised ‘new series’ computed on Wednesday by the Ministry of Statistics and Niti Aayog has completely undermined the National Statistical Commission, the autonomous body for deciding data transparently and in accordance with global standards of calculating GDP as per market price linked methodology.
“Today, Modi government deceived the country by surreptitiously changing the methodology in order to manipulate GDP data. This is called ‘excel sheet management’ for example deciding the result first and filling the marks later. The new methodology is GVA based, which does not take into account tax, subsidies and consequently is extremely flawed to sub serve the myopic interests of the ruling government,” he said.