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To counter the economic slowdown, India first needs to fix its doubtful GDP numbers

A worker pours molten iron from a ladle to make lamp posts inside an iron casting factory in Ahmedabad
REUTERS/Amit Dave
Burning out.
  • Prathamesh Mulye
By Prathamesh Mulye

Writer, banking and economy

The Narendra Modi government has had a pretty dubious track record of estimating and calculating India’s economic growth, and the pandemic may make things worse.

For a government that made several tweaks to its economic growth numbers in the past two financial years—and frequently missed projections—this year has come with an additional challenge. The government is likely to have struggled with data collection, particularly during April and May when the country was under lockdown to curtail Covid-19, said Sumit Shekhar, associate economist at Mumbai-based brokerage firm, Ambit Capital.

Economists are pretty certain the government will trim its initial estimates for India’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth for this financial year—just like it did for 2019 and 2020. On May 4, news reports claimed that the government has estimated India’s GDP to expand 2-3% in the year ending March 2021.

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