GDP numbers highly suspect, govt misleading public: Cong


New Delhi: The Congress today dubbed the GDP numbers as “surprising” and “highly suspect” that could dent India’s global credibility and accused the prime minister and the finance minister of “misleading” the public.

Congress spokesperson Anand Sharma said the GDP numbers released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO) are “misleading” as these do not factor in the adverse impact of demonetisation, including losses in jobs and production.

“The GDP numbers that have been released are surprising and highly suspect. The GDP growth as projected is questionable and will also undermine the crediblity of Indian data globally,” he told PTI.

Asking Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley not to “mislead” the public and address the real issues instead, the senior Congress leader said the government “propagandists” should refrain from “premature celebrations and misplaced euphoria”.

“The prime minister and the finance minister remain in denial in furtherance of their narrow political agenda for short-term benefits and are not addressing the real issues.

“The government, the prime minister and the finance minister are guilty of misleading the people by ignoring the sufferings inflicted on the poor, especially the farm labour, the factory workers and the daily wage earners due to their ‘reckless’ decision,” he said.

Sharma said as per its own admission, the CSO has stated that it has not been able to collate the data of impact of demonetisation, including the losses in jobs and production especially in the Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) sector.

“Therefore, the GDP numbers, ignoring the harsh ground realities and based on increase in revenue from indirect taxes, are artificial and highly misleading,” he said.

He said institutions monitoring the Indian exconomy and analyists have pegged the loss to the economy at Rs 2.50 lakh crore post demonetisation.

Sharma said economic parameters are looking down and job losses are mounting, so there cannot be a high economic growth in this backdrop.

The grim reality, he said, will come to the fore when the real data of unorganised sector and the incumbent job losses is captured and the true picture will emerge by the middle of the year by the time Q-4 numbers come out.