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IMF to review India statistics office data audit next week
April 17, 2015, 5:23 am

 

Workers make bicycle parts at a factory at Ludhina in Indian state of Punjab, Feb. 1, 2014 [Xinhua]

Workers make bicycle parts at a factory at Ludhina in Indian state of Punjab, Feb. 1, 2014 [Xinhua]

The IMF will begin a review of the data audit by the Indian Ministry of Statistics on April 22.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team has been invited by the Indian Ministry to look at the new dramatic revision of India’s GDP calculation method, said a Reuters report on Friday.

Ashish Kumar, the head of India’s Statistics Office, was quoted in the report as saying, “We don’t have any political agenda”.

“The day starts with a question and ends with a question,” he added.

The statistics office has set up an internal panel to audit the data.

The Indian statistics ministry said in January that after updating the base year used for marking trends in the economy and switching to a market-price calculation of gross domestic product, the Indian economy grew by 6.9 per cent in the year that ended last March.

Using the previous methodology, GDP expansion that year was 4.7 per cent.

The revised method has confused economists since it was unveiled in January this year. Many including Central Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan and India’s Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramaniam have been skeptical about the data.

“I am puzzled by the GDP growth numbers and, consequently, all the constituent elements that went into constructing it,” Subramanian said in an interview with Indian daily Business Standard published Feb. 3, referring to the 2013/14 revision. “We have to be very careful in using these numbers for policy making.”

TBP

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