Modi government pressurised CSO to release favourable data on demonetisation’s impact on economy: Subramanian Swamy

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BJP’s Rajya Sabha MP, Subramanian Swamy has sensationally alleged that the Centre’s Narendra Modi government had pressurised Central Statistical Organisation to release favourable data to show that the note ban had no impact on the economy.

Subramanian Swamy
File Photo: TOI

Addressing a gathering of chartered accountants in Ahmedabad on Saturday, Swamy said, “Please do not go by the quarterly (GDP) data; they are all bogus. I am telling you, because my father founded the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO)…. Recently, I went there with (Union) minister Sadananda Gowda…. He called the CSO person, because there was pressure to put out data on demonetisation. So they put out the (GDP) data (saying) that there is no impact (of demonetisation).

“I am feeling nervous because I know there is an impact. So I asked the director of CSO, ‘how did you estimate the GDP for this quarter when the demonetisation was on November (2016) and you gave a printed economic survey report on February 1 (2017), which means it went for printing at least three weeks before. So on the first week of January (2017) you submit a report and you calculate GDP to show no impact. How did you calculate it?’” The outspoken MP was quoted by Indian Express.

He went to add, “So he tells me, that the informal sector’s output last year as a ratio of the formal sector’s output last year, that ratio was applied to the organised sector in January. I told him that relationship has changed. He said, ‘what will I do? I was under pressure to give the data and so I gave it’. So do not believe in any quarterly data.”

Swamy also warned Indians to not take the economic forecasts of the rating agencies such as Moody’s and Finch saying that these agencies could be bought.

He said, “Don’t believe in these Moody’s and Fitches. You can pay them money and get any report published.”

In November, US-based agency Moody’s had upgraded India’s sovereign credit rating by a notch to ‘Baa2’ with stable outlook after a gap of 13 years, saying reforms will foster sustainable growth.

India’s GDP growth had slumped to a three-year low of 5.7 per cent during April-June — lagging China for the second straight quarter — as manufacturing slowed ahead of the GST launch amid demonetisation effect. This, however, was shown to be improving as the latest economic data said the GDP had grown by 6.3% in the quarter ending in September.

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