The report said India grew at 10.8 per cent in 2006-07 -- when the UPA was in power -- if the new base year for GDP calculation was used as the benchmark. (Photo: Reuters)
A report that showed higher GDP growth during the United Progressive Alliance's (UPA) tenure in government has been removed from the Statistics and Programme Implementation ministry's website.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government changed the base year for GDP calculation to 2010-11 from 2004-05 -- the benchmark used by the UPA. The back series GDP growth report extrapolated figures for the UPA tenure using the changed base year.
The report was published on the ministry's website on July 25; it said India grew at 10.8 per cent in 2006-07 (when Manmohan Singh was prime minister) if the same base was used as the benchmark.The back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014," former Union Minister P Chidambaram has said. (Photo: Reuters)
"Truth has triumphed," former Union Minister P Chidambaram said last week. "The back series calculation of GDP has proved that the best years of economic growth were the UPA years 2004-2014."
"I wish the Modi government well in its fifth year. It can never catch up with UPA I, but I wish it catches up with UPA II," he said.
Read:Chidambaram, a Harvard-trained lawyer (another allergy of the Modi govt to foreign universities such as Harvard), is widely credited with what was described as the “dream budget) in 1997 which made the usurious tax rates in India moderate
This triggered a political war of words. The BJP went on the offensive as the report's findings were attacking the very foundation of its narrative on the 'growth story during the NDA being a marked improvement over the UPA regime'.
In a Facebook blog published Sunday, Union Minister Arun Jaitley said India grew "at a high rate" between 2003 and 2008 thanks to the work done by the outgoing Vajpayee government, "continuous incremental reforms from 1991 to 2004", growing exports and conducive global tailwinds.
"However, when this honeymoon ended, growth started slipping down and to ensure that growth is maintained, two significant steps were taken," Jaitley said. "Firstly, fiscal discipline was compromised and the banking system was advised to go in for reckless lending notwithstanding the fact that it would eventually put the banks at a risk. And yet when the UPA moved out of power in 2014, the last three year record, even in terms of growth, was less than modest."
The back series report has created red faces in the government as it was presented by a government-backed forum headed by the economist Sudipto Mundle.
Within the government, the view is that the report -- which became public just ahead of the 2019 elections -- will become part of the Opposition's poll campaign against Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his party.—India Today