Photo: Bloomberg
Photo: Bloomberg

Govt making efforts to reduce discrepancies in GDP data: T.C.A. Anant

Discrepancies in national accounts will be there due to delay in reporting of information by agencies including state governments, says the chief statistician

New Delhi: Admitting to “discrepancies" in the gross domestic product (GDP) data, which soared to 2.14 trillion in 2015-16 or up to 1.9%, chief statistician T.C.A. Anant on Friday said the government is making efforts to minimize them.

Some discrepancies in national accounts will always be there because of delay in reporting of information by various agencies including state governments, but the effort is to report data as accurately as possible, he said when asked about the reasons of high levels of “discrepancies" in the GDP numbers for 2015-16.

Anant told PTI in an interview that the government is making efforts to minimize discrepancies in computation of the national income or GDP data by relying more on data available under e-governance programmes and corporate accounts.

Discrepancies in the statistical GDP data refer to the difference in national income under production method and expenditure method.

While Anant did not give any numbers, the recently released GDP figures showed that the discrepancies in 2015-16 stood at as high 2.15 trillion, as against a negative 35,284 crore in the previous fiscal.

In 2015-16 data of national income, the rates of discrepancies at current and constant (2011-12) prices are estimated at 0.1% and 1.9%, respectively, of the GDP. It stood at 0.4% and negative 0.3%, respectively, in 2014-15.

The data released earlier this week pegged the real GDP, or GDP at constant prices, for fiscal 2016 at 113.50 trillion, showing a growth rate of 7.6%—the highest among major economies of the world.

The GDP at current prices for 2015-16 was pegged at 135.76 trillion, showing a growth rate of 8.7%.

“Some initial statements that this is the highest discrepancy ever is simply not true... Discrepancies partly get reduced as we get more information to improve the allocation," Anant said.

According to him, discrepancy occurs because alongside the production figure, the government also compile the expenditure estimate which is principally based on some rules of thumb.

“This allocation does not completely explain the expenditure side accurately. The difference between the two estimates thus becomes the discrepancy," he said. “As the information basis improve, the levels of timelines improve, the errors will gradually come down," he added.

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