Ex-Chief Minister and the leader of the Opposition in Bihar Legislative Council, Rabri Devi, has called out the Central Government after the release of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) estimates for the first quarter of FY 2019-20 on Thursday. She accused the Centre of changing the GDP calculation methodology and mocked the current situation. As opposed to the 8% growth rate during the same quarter last year, GDP growth slowed down to only 5% in Q1 in2019. This number indicates the slowest growth in six and a half years.
Rabri Devi, taking a jibe at the BJP, tweeted her opinion on the GDP growth. The tweet translates to, “Changing the GDP calculation methodology didn’t work, so try changing its name now. Justice will be brought to everyone. God is late but not unjust.”
GDP गणना का तरीक़ा बदलने से भी सच्चाई नहीं छिपा सके तो अब जीडीपी का नाम भी बदल कर देख लो।— Rabri Devi (@RabriDeviRJD) August 30, 2019
देर-सबेर इनके सारे काले पाप सामने आएँगे। याद रखो, भगवान के घर देर है अंधेर नहीं।
The data released by the National Statistical Office revealed that the Manufacturing sector grew at 0.6%, Construction grew at 5.7% and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing grew at 2% in the current financial year. These three sectors showcased the poorest growth in the first quarter of the current financial year. Furthermore, the Private Final Expenditure (PFCE) at Current and Constant Prices is estimated to be 57.7% and 55.1% in FY '19-20, and the Wholesale Price Index (WPI) grew by 6.9%. The Reserve Bank of India in their annual report mentioned that "The diagnosis is difficult, these conditions are hard to disentangle cleanly, at least in the formative state”.
Nirmala Sitharaman also announced major banking reforms in a press briefing on Friday. In the meeting, she revealed the mergers of 10 big Public Sector Undertaking (PSU) banks into four entities. This merger will bring the number of Public Sector Banks (PSB) from 27 to 12. Elaborating on the merger, the Finance Minister explained that it will help enhance credit capacity and operational efficiency, enabling these big banks to compete globally. Along with this, a slew of other banking reforms were announced by the government in order to revive the economy.
Rabri Devi referred to the GDP calculation methodology, which was earlier attacked by ex-Chief Economic Advisor, Arvind Subramanian. He accused the government of using measures that did not consider growth indicators such as electricity consumption, two-wheeler sales, airline passenger traffic, index of industrial production, export figures, etc. The ex-Chief Statistician of India Pronab Sen contradicted Arvin Subramanian’s thesis by saying that Subramanian's methodology relied on volume and not values. The current methodology uses value indicators to calculate GDP as the drastic change in prices from the manufacturing sector has a direct effect on prices of commodities.