Opinion | As institutions change, so does data credibility
An economy's resilience and sustainability is best measured through its institutional strength
The official back data on India’s gross domestic product (GDP), released by the Central Statistical Office (CSO) on Wednesday, runs the risk of denting the market’s trust and conviction in official data released by government agencies. The new data release contradicts the earlier findings of a committee set up by National Statistical Commission to develop a methodology for deriving back data by linking the old series with the new base year of 2011-12. Whenever the base for national accounts is updated—as it should be to incorporate conceptual changes, statistical changes (such as methodological upgrades) or results of new surveys conducted closer to the base year—the old series is routinely linked to the new series for providing comparable data which can then be used by economists, academicians and analysts for creating a viable and comparable time-series. That is now a task riddled with occupational hazards that could throw up numerous contradictory outcomes. The segue from an old base year to a new base year should have ideally been smooth, as it has in the past; unfortunately, it has now become hostage to partisan electoral politics.