New Delhi: India will have to undertake more reforms and try harder to grow at over 8 per cent, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said on Thursday. He also expressed displeasure at politicisation of release of back-series GDP data on Wednesday at a joint press conference addressed by him and Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava.
“Breaching the 8 per cent growth ceiling is not easy, we have to try much harder and undertake the reforms at the level where it matters,” he said at an event organised by the Pahle India Foundation. Kumar said that the former Finance Minister P Chidambaram has done great disfavour to officers of CSO by criticising back-series GDP data released by the CSO. “I am deeply pained at people who politicised it for no reason at all,” he said.
He also pointed out that the government needs to invest more in the country’s statistical system. “The allocations to our statistical systems must increase many folds,” he stressed. Kumar said that at one point of time the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) was a department of the Planning Commission.
“We (Niti Aayog) had provided platform to experts (statisticians) to examine the (GDP back-series) data…GDP back-series data is a technical thing, it has a huge macroeconomic impact, so we have done it in a more macroeconomic manner,” he said.
Kumar also said that Niti Aayog uses data extensively for making logical policy recommendations and the data is always based on assessment and quality check by eminent statisticians. “Therefore, it was logical for Niti Aayog to provide the platform for its release,” he noted.