January 09, 2017

GDP Estimates, Guesstimates, Assumptions and the Playbook of Growth

In this New Indian Express article, Shankkar Aiyar, Visiting Fellow at IDFC Institute, writes about the need to enhance the methods of collection of data and its analysis while designing policies. He says:


"Issues relating to quality and availability ofdata couldd haunt the playbook of growth. The government has declared that a major focus area would be human development indicators—particularly with higher spending on education and health. Is there sufficient data to assess outcomes achieved by money already spent? Between the Centre and states, over `8 lakh crore is spent on the social sector. The fact is, this is the terminal year of the 12th five year plan—while the Planning Commission was disbanded plan allocations continued. The appraisal of the utilisation and outcomes of allocations during the plan period is pending at the Niti Aayog[...]


For sure, the introduction of GST and the drive towards less-cash economy will enhance the quality and quantity of data that is available to design policy. That doesn’t take away from the diktat of the times. The question is whether the quality of data made available is adequate to make these calls? Can India afford to wait for 60 days after every quarter to know how the economy performed? Can a basic income scheme be designed amidst vague definitions of poverty and fuzzy data on the number of poor?"


Read the full article here.

Topic : State Capacity / In : OP-EDS
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