‘We don’t need Subramanian to tell us the economy is slowing’
A former CEA should be more careful before articulating views in the public domain... It does great damage to the country, says Bibek Debroy, chairman of PMEAC
NEW DELHI : The credibility of India’s statistics system came under a shadow when a former insider, Arvind Subramanian who has served as chief economic advisor (CEA) in the finance ministry for four years until last year, claimed in a paper earlier this month that there was a significant overestimation of India’s economic growth for the period from 2011-12 to 2016-17 because of methodology changes. The actual annual average gross domestic product (GDP) growth may have been 4.5% for this period instead of the 7% officially estimated, according to Subramanian. Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), however, rejected the idea in a paper last week, saying Subramanian’s conclusion was technically inappropriate and demoralising to the dedicated team of official statisticians and economists. Subramanian should not have questioned the credibility of India’s statistics system, PMEAC chairman Bibek Debroy says in an interview but concedes that the system is not perfect and the unfolding economic slowdown warrants action. Edited excerpts:
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