Business Today

The Great Indian GDP Puzzle

Nobody knows what to do with the latest back series.

Dry statistics, especially that of a GDP back series going back a decade, are not supposed to set off furious political debates. But when Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, with CSO chief Pravin Srivastava in tow, decided to announce the back series calculations of 2004 10 finally on November 28, it immediately led to a war of words between the BJP and the Congress. Worse, it led to neutral professional economists scratching their heads and wondering what exactly was India's growth rate between 2004/05 and 2013/14.

The problem was that there were now three sets of figures for each of these years. One, just calculated by the CSO under the supervision of Niti Aayog, a somewhat unusual occurrence, and given the official stamp of approval. The second was a back series accidentally

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