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Government may lower GDP estimation

Government may lower the growth projections for the last fiscal, which was pegged at 6.9% in view of sharp downward revision of industrial output numbers for January.

A finance ministry said that "The government might revise 2011-12 GDP growth figure downwards. Officials of the Department of Economic Affairs will meet soon to assess the impact of the lower January IIP numbers on last year's economic growth.”

As per government estimates, Indian economy grew by 6.9% in 2011-12 fiscal. The overall growth data was computed after taking into account 6.8% industrial output in January.

However, as per the recent data by the Central Statistical Organisation the January industrial output works out to be 1.1% and not 6.8% as estimated earlier.

Accordingly, the cumulative growth figure for April-January (2011-12) was lowered to 3.4%, from 4%.

The downward revision, sources said, could have a bearing on the economic growth figures for the last fiscal, which was 6.9% the lowest in the previous three financial years.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had already asked the concerned authorities to look into the impact of sharp revision of the Index of Industrial Production numbers and termed it as totally baffling.

Mr Mukherjee had said that "I can understand if there is error in calculating 0.1% of 0.2%, but from 6.8% to 1.1%, it is totally baffling.”

The CSO has attributed the revision in IIP data to "slippages" in data collection and said incorrect reporting of sugar production by the Directorate of Sugar in the Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution was the main reason.

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