Former CEA calls for expert review of back series data

‘Puzzle’ about data needs explanation: Arvind Subramanian
Amid raging controversy over the revised economic growth numbers, Former Chief Economic Adviser Arvind Subramanian has called for an investigation by experts to clear doubts and build confidence while noting that the “puzzle” about the data needs to be explained. He stressed that institutions that do not have technical expertise in calculating the GDP data should not be involved in the process, apparently referring to the NITI Aayog. Dr. Subramanian, who criticised demonetisation in his book titled ‘Of counsel: the challenges of the Modi-Jaitley Economy,’ was, however, evasive when asked if he was consulted in the decision-making process on note ban. “As an economist, I think there are some puzzles (new back series GDP data), there are some issues that need to be explained. Since there are things that need to be explained, we should create confidence and eliminate any uncertainty or doubts, have experts who can investigate this thoroughly and give their answers,” Dr. Subramanian said. On the controversy over the NITI Aayog’s presence at the release of the GDP back series data by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) last month, he said that experts should have producing and explaining data as the main job. ‘Very technical task’ “I think this (calculation of GDP) is a very technical task and technical experts should do the task, institutions that don’t have technical expertise should not be involved in this,” he said. Recalibrating data of past years using 2011-12 as the base year instead of 2004-05, the CSO lowered the country’s economic growth rate during the previous Congress-led UPA’s regime. Asked whether he was consulted in the decision-making process on demonetisation, the former CEA said, “In the book, I said that this is not a kiss and tell memoir, that is for gossip columnists.”
Source : https://www.thehindu.com/todays-paper/tp-business/former-cea-calls-for-expert-review-of-back-series-data/article25706564.ece

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