How can GDP increase, when all growth indicators are going down: P Chidambaram

New Delhi: Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on Friday questioned the revised Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data series published by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and asked that how can the GDP increase when all the growth indicators are going down.

Speaking at an interactive session titled ‘Is India being redefined?’ organised by All India Professionals Congress (AIPC) here, the former finance minister said: “If every growth indicator is going down, how can we have a high GDP?”

He further said that the CSO left out 2004-2006 and six years of late former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s government while working on a new formula with 2011-12 as the base year.

“They have left out 2004-2005 and six years of Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s Government, even after this redefinition, the pattern is exactly the same. Best years of Indian economic growth were 2004 to 2014, if you look at four years of the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government you need to look at four years of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA), if growth is better under NDA why industrial growth is not increasing, why no jobs have been created?” he added.

Senior Congress leader Abhishek Manu Singhvi echoed similar sentiments as of Chidambaram and said that the redefining of the GDP data is an initiative by the NDA government to portray themselves better than the UPA government.

“They tried to redefine the GDP, maybe next time they will redefine the date of China’s GDP. This just indicates their anxiety that how they can lag behind the UPA. They are trying to portray themselves better than us, by redefining the data,” Singhvi said.
Chidambaram further termed demonetisation as an “an extremely foolish move” taken by the ruling NDA government and added that everything about the Goods and Service Tax (GST) is wrong except its idea. “Demonetisation was an extremely foolish move. Also, everything about the GST is wrong except the idea of the GST,” he said.

Referring to former chief economic advisor Arvind Subramanian, who has called demonetisation “draconian” in his to be released book ‘Of Counsel’, Chidambaram said that, “I do not know why people do not speak when they are in office? What fear has this government instilled in people?”

The CSO on Wednesday had released the back series of GDP/GVA for period 2004-05 to 2011-12 with base 2011-12 prices.