The BJP government at the Centre witnesses lower growth in GDP (Gross Domestic Product) in comparison with that of the United Progressive Alliance government of 2009-2014. The economic growth is without improving the employment opportunities, resulting in the lack of even distribution of growth benefits. Much attention was given only to the development of corporate sector, with special attention to appease their hunger of generating income and deriving profit. With the motive of boosting the economic growth through statistical means, at present the methodology of GDP computation has been changed. For the computation of GDP, the reckoning of the base year was shifted from the financial year 2004-05 to 2011-12. When the base year, 2004-05 was reckoned, the overall GDP was not promising for the Modi’s tenure which started in 2014. Alternatively the base year has been changed to 2011-12. The back series of GDP computed after the shift in the base year shows the performance of UPA’s tenure as dismal and projecting Modi’s tenure comfortably at the GDP growth of 8.2 percent in first quarter (April-June) of the current fiscal year (2018-19). Within a few days of the GDP release of the first quarter data, the estimate for the second quarter (July-September) has been released, the trend got reversed at 7.1 percent. Even though the change in the base year reckoning is a usual exercise, the way Modi government has acted raises lot of doubts, since the Lok Sabha election 2019 is nearing.
The release of back series data on GDP appears to put the growth during UPA’s tenure at low ebb comparatively. But the change has not lent a helping hand for Modi’s tenure in the second quarter.
Despite the attempt to score political points through number games, the ascending economic problems remain unmasked. No lens is required to view an elephant at a short distance. Farmers’ distress is mounting every day, the deflationary trend in the prices of agricultural commodities continues to cloud rural prospect. To the extent the corporate investment especially foreign investment is kept attractive regulating in gross fixed capital formation (GFCF) at 32 per cent of GDP (at constant prices), the domestic environment is not paid adequate attention. The catastrophic effect experienced by the introduction of GST is not normalised still. The fall down of informal sector due to the diabolical demonetisation measures have not shown any symptom of being set right. The magnitude of unemployment to match the emerging youth has not been tackled at all. Any of these pitfalls is not covered up in the statistical data on performance front. Mere change in the base year reckoning will not solve the economic problem of the country. Many economic experts and statisticians, who are concerned much on the real progress in the growth of the country appeal for the withdrawal of the flawed back series of GDP data.
Let the recalculation of GDP be commenced, independent of the NITI Ayog, the creation of Modi’s government as its propaganda wing!
Let Modi’s strategic expertise get restricted to the political arena and not on the economic performance front, at least at the fag end of his tenure!