Days after the latest GDP (Gross Domestic Product) figures pointed at a deeper economic slowdown, a BJP leader said in parliament that in future, "GDP will stop being relevant". Whether people are happy is more important than GDP, the BJP's Nishikant Dubey said in Lok Sabha on Monday.
"GDP came in 1934; there was no GDP before that. (Economist Simon) Kuznet said it is not the ultimate truth to believe the GDP as Bible, Ramayan or Mahabharat. In the future, GDP will not be of much use as an economic indicator," Nishikant Dubey said, participating in a discussion on the Taxation Law Amendment Bill. "Whoever talks about the GDP is wrong. GDP has no relevance to this country," he insisted.
He went on to explain that "the new theory" is whether sustainable economic welfare had reached the last man in the queue. "Sustainable development, happiness is more important than GDP," the BJP MP said in response to Congress attacks on the government over the latest GDP shock.
The Congress took a dig at Mr Dubey over his remarks with the party's chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala wriitng on Twitter: "God save us from such novice economists of New India!"
On Friday, GDP figures of the July-September quarter dropped to a six-year-low of 4.5 per cent, the worst since 2013, because of a combination of low manufacturing, agriculture and mining activity. Data showed consumer demand, private investment and exports all struggling.
The trend of subdued consumption is cited by experts as a big reason for the successive fall in GDP growth rate. All the major sectors, including auto, capital goods, banks, consumer durables, FMCG and real estate have been hit. Last year in the same quarter the GDP growth was at seven per cent.