Government may release IIP, WPI data with 2011-12 base year by April-end

New Delhi: The index of industrial production and the wholesale price index could be launched with new base year 2011-12 by April-end to ensure compatibility with growth numbers.

The change in the baseline for IIP and WPI, currently at 2004-05, is expected to bring in more accuracy in mapping the level of economic activity and calculating other numbers like national accounts.

The Central Statistics Office (CSO) has already changed the base for the country’s national accounts, including the gross domestic product (GDP) and the gross value addition (GVA).

CSO Director General G C Manna said the government is proceeding with a target of launching the new set of numbers by April-end.

He said, “When we say end of April, it is February data because there is one and half month gap (lag)… data for month up to February will come (in April-end). Then, we will stick to 12th day of every month from May onwards. The first release will be April end… with that target, we are proceeding.”

For long, economists and think-tanks have been pitching for release of new time series of IIP and WPI so that GDP numbers can be based on more accurate and realistic data.

Manna said, “Already, the committee of secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary had a meeting. It was decided that a small group comprising secretaries of statistics and industries headed by the Cabinet Secretary will take a final decision. This meeting will be held on March 14, 2017.”

He further said, “Assuming that they approve the proposal, both IIP and WPI should be in the public domain by the end of April, including back series data. Both IIP and WPI with new base year of 2011-12 will be available (on scheduled dates) from May.” WPI basically indicates the rise in profitability of industries. Similarly, IIP denotes the level of economic activity in different sectors, including manufacturing, mining and power.

IIP also gives a broad outlook on output of various types of goods like basic, consumer and capital ones, which helps in gauging the level of economic progress and investments in the economy.

Asked about the higher provision of Rs 1.18 lakh crore discrepancy in the second advance estimate of GDP unveiled later last month, Manna said, “I understand this happens because there is a residual approach. Our former estimate is production side estimate. Discrepancy was there for last quarters also.”

The second advance estimate was arrived at by factoring in mismatches or the difference between GDP calculated by different methods at Rs 1.18 lakh crore or 1 per cent of the Indian economy. It was Rs 45,407 crore, or 0.4 per cent, of GDP in 2015-16.

The CSO has pegged the GDP growth at 7.1 per cent for the current fiscal in the second advance estimate, the same as the first one released in January this year.

It is also working closely with states on the sub-state consumer price index to ascertain the price rise of commodities in different regions.
“There is concept of NSS (the National Sample Survey) region. There are about 87 NSS regions which are group of districts. We have suggested the states to group districts,” he said.

He clarified that the state sub-CPI will not be used as input for calculation of the national rural, urban and combined retail inflation as these will separate surveys.