Centre slams ex-CEA's claims; Says, 'Using cross-country regressions to estimate GDP is a most unusual exercise'

News Bharati    12-Jun-2019
New Delhi, June 12: Defending the GDP figures after ex-CEA Arvind Subramian claimed the over estimation of the said figures, the Centre has said that it will examine in detail the estimates made in Dr. Arvind Subramanian’s paper and come out with a point-to-point rebuttal in due course.

Meanwhile it also said that the GDP estimates released by the Ministry of Statistics are based on accepted procedures, methodologies and available data and that they objectively measure the contribution of various sectors in the economy.
The former Chief Economic Adviser Dr. Arvind Subramanian, has published a paper on ‘India’s GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications’ this month on the basis of which he has also published an article in Indian media, making strong claims about India’s real GDP figures between 2011-12 and 2016-17.
In his paper, Dr. Subramanian has used cross-country regressions to estimate what India’s GDP should be. Using cross-country regressions to estimate GDP is a most unusual exercise, as is the suggestion that any country’s GDP that is off the regression line must be questioned.
“The proxy indicators that he used can also be questioned. Nor does this exercise allow for GDP increases on the basis of productivity gains. A country’s GDP is in nominal terms and any exercise should be on the basis of nominal figures, not real growth rates”, the centre said in a statement.
"It is felt that any attempt to sensationalize what should be a proper academic debate is not desirable from the point of view of preserving the independence and quality of India’s statistical systems, all of which the former CEA is familiar with. These are certainly issues that Dr. Subramanian must certainly have raised while he was working as CEA, though by his own admission, he has taken time to understand India’s growth numbers and is still unsure", it signed off.