NEW DELHI: Addressing criticism over apparent disparities in the GDP growth projections in the Union Budget speech and the Economic Survey, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said the disparity is because of the different base numbers that were used to calculate GDP.“I will assure the House there is no need for any speculation on figures given in Budget and every number is authentic,” she said in the Parliament, referring to the difference in data in the Budget document as well as the Economic Survey.
The Economic Survey, released by Chief Economic Advisor S Krishnamurthy a day before the Union Budget, had pegged the nominal GDP growth at 12 per cent while the budget projected it at 11 per cent. The opposition had raised concern over two different estimates of GDP growth that had been released just a day apart and had sought clarification over which figure was correct.
“The growth rate of the nominal GDP for 2019-20 in the Budget documents has been projected at 12 per cent over the advanced nominal GDP estimates. The advanced estimates for 2018-19 were released on 7 January 2019,” Sitharaman told Lok Sabha on Wednesday. She was replying to the general discussion on Budget 2019-20 in the Lok Sabha.
“The growth rate of the nominal GDP for 2019-20 in the Economic Survey has been projected at 11 per cent over the provisional nominal GDP estimate of 190,10,164 crore. The provisional estimate was released on May 31, 2019. Both the projections are consistent with each other,” she added.
She also affirmed the government’s commitment to the path of fiscal consolidation, and to contain the fiscal deficit at 3.3 per cent of GDP, instead of the 3.4 per cent outlined in the interim budget. “The government is committed to the path of fiscal consolidation without compromising on the public expenditure placed by the various sectors,” she added.