NITI Aayog Asked to See GDP Back Series Data: Rajiv Kumar

In an earlier interview with BloombergQuint, the NITI Aayog vice chairman had said politicising the data is wrong. 

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NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar has countered the criticism over the think-tank’s role in putting out the new GDP back series numbers along with the Central Statistics Office (CSO), saying that the issue should not be politicised and that the Aayog was “asked to have a look” before the data was released.

Speaking to The Indian Express, Kumar said:

“Everybody knows that until not too long ago, the Department of Statistics was part of the Planning Commission. There have always been close links between the two, simply because we use data so extensively and we work together… In this case also, when they were about to release the back series, they asked us to have a look.”
Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, to The Indian Express

He also came out in support of the new data, calling it “factual and correct” and an improvement, and urged people to not “cast any aspersions on it”.

In an earlier interview with BloombergQuint, the vice chairman of NITI Aayog had said:

“Politicising the data is wrong. The earlier series had consistently overestimated the contribution of the services sector. CSO has accepted the divergence and given reasons for the same.”
Rajiv Kumar, Vice Chairman, NITI Aayog, to BloombergQuint

The government had released the official estimates for the back data of the new GDP series.

The methodology used for the official estimates is significantly different from what was used by the National Statistical Commission in a draft report put out earlier this year. The different methods used have resulted in divergent growth rates.

In particular, the two back series differ notably in the growth rates during the post global financial crisis year. This has led to a drop in the average growth rates seen under the previous UPA government.

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