The government on Wednesday released the much-awaited back-series estimates for India's GDP which showed a lower rate of growth during the UPA years between 2005-06 and 2011-12 than what was estimated using the earlier methodology.
As per the data released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO), the maximum growth rate the economy achieved during the UPA years was 8.5 per cent in 2010-11, significantly lower than the 10.3 per cent estimated earlier.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar said an extensive recalibration exercise using the latest data sources and methodological changes had led to a change in growth rates in the back series.
He said the back series had been checked for its methodological soundness by leading statistical experts in the country during two round tables organised by the NITI Aayog in which domain experts participated to ensure the quality of coverage and methodology.
Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava said the methodology and concepts incorporated to arrive at the back-series data were consistent with international standards.
"The recalibration exercise led to a change in growth rates in the back series and today's exercise is a result of comprehensive work," he said.
In January 2015, the government had moved to a new base year of 2011-12 from the earlier base year of 2004-05 for national accounts. After introduction of the new series, back-series estimates are compiled and released for the years preceding the new base year for completeness and comparability with old base data sets.
As per the data released by the CSO, growth rates for all years between 2005-06 and 2011-12 have been revised downwards -- to 7.9 per cent in 2005-06 from 9.3 per cent, 8.1 per cent in 2006-07 from 9.3 per cent, 7.7 per cent in 2007-08 from 9.8 per cent, 3.1 per cent in 2008-09 from 3.9 per cent, 7.9 per cent in 2009-10 from 8.5 per cent, 8.5 per cent in 2010-11 from 10.3 per cent, and 5.2 per cent in 2011-12 from 6.6 per cent.
The growth rate for the years after the new base is estimated to be 5.5 per cent (2012-13), 6.4 per cent (2013-14), 7.4 per cent (2014-15), 8.2 per cent (2015-16), 7.1 per cent (2016-17) and 6.7 per cent (2017-18).
In August, a committee appointed by the National Statistical Commission had submitted in its report that the economy grew at a faster rate during the UPA period compared with the average growth rate during the first four years of the current government. The government responded that it was only a draft seeking comments and was not the final word on the matter.
On the downward revision of UPA era growth rates, the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said the government had no intention to "mislead or do something purposefully which did not reflect the reality".
Mr Kumar said the back-series data was "far more superior than the previous one" and that it was internationally comparable and in sync with United Nations System of National Accounts (SNA 2008).
"CSO today released the back series of GDP/GVA for period 2004-05 to 2011-12 with base 2011-12 prices. Used SNA 2008 concepts, latest data sources and indices for the back series. Methodological changes include institutional approach, reference rate method for FISIM (Financial Intermediation Services Indirectly Measured)," the NITI Aayog Vice Chairman said.
"Treatment of trade sector (has been done) using sales tax instead of Gross Trading Income (GTI). Share of primary, secondary sectors (has gone) up in the back series while tertiary sector (has) reduced. Recalibration exercise led to a change in growth rates in back series," he added.
As per the new data, the share of primary sector in total Gross Value Added (GVA) is higher than that in the earlier 2004-05 series primarily due to changes in the data sources, the government said in a statement.
"The share of secondary sector in total GVA has increased in the back-series compared to the 2004-05 series. The increase is largely due to use of Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) data and public sector data in organised electricity and manufacturing Sectors which was earlier sourced from annual reports of private electricity companies registered with the Central Electricity Authority and Annual Survey of Industries respectively," it said.
It added that the share of tertiary sector in overall GVA had reduced largely on account of the use of revised methodology and latest survey data sources of unorganised sector in the new base.
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