Former vice chairman of NITI Aayog and prolific economist Arvind Panagriya on September 10 rejected the claims calling into question India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data.
Noting that GDP numbers cannot be fudged, he said, " Whenever the growth rate is high, there is an ecosystem alleging that there is a rigging the numbers. Such allegations are not made when the numbers are lower."
Panagariya noted that such debates happen without any information or understanding of the situation. In an exclusive interview with Moneycontrol, Panagaraiya rejected Princeton economist Ashok Moody's allegation that India faked its growth story ahead of the G20 summit. Moody had recently claimed that the figure of the 7.8 percent GDP growth rate for the first quarter (April-June) of the financial year 2023-24 was inaccurate.
Panagariya elaborated by stating that GDP calculations are based on elaborate data and cannot be fudged easily. According to him, fudging the GDP numbers is unsustainable as it would lead to a situation where a country would have to continue to do it every year after that. The economist noted that any country that fudges GDP data would be exposed eventually and it is not the case with India.
The former NITI Aayog VC said, "I am in fact surprised why we are not growing faster. I am surprised why our growth in manufacturing is not higher than the GDP growth."
India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth rate hit a four-quarter high in April-June, rising to 7.8 percent, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation said on August 31.
At 7.8 percent, the latest quarterly growth number is slightly above expectations. A poll conducted by Moneycontrol had shown economists expected GDP growth for the first quarter of 2023-24 to come in at 7.7 percent.
Watch the full interview here