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Dismissing doubts over India’s GDP numbers, Arvind Panagariya, Chairman of the 16th Finance Commission, has said the country can realistically push its economic growth close to 9 per cent from the current 7 per cent or so, by implementing a few more reforms in the next five years.

“Certainly with a few more reforms in the next five years, we can realistically push it to close to 9 per cent, certainly somewhere at 8-9 per cent and that can be sustained easily for a couple of decades,” the economist said while speaking at the Times Now Summit.

He attributed India’s progress to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts in creating a conducive environment for businesses, leading to increased investments. Panagariya emphasized that India’s economy is open and poised for sustained rapid growth over the coming decades.

Responding to critics

On noted economists Raghuram Rajan and Arvind Subramanian have raised questions over the country’s economic growth, Panagariya said if critics are saying there is some fault with the methodology of calculating GDP, “they have to come in and point out the fault so that we can talk about how to make the improvements”.

While Rajan has warned against being overly optimistic about economic growth, Subramanian described the latest GDP figures as “absolutely mystifying.”

“If you are mystified, then first you have to check, (whether) mist is on your own glasses…or somewhere else.”

Panagariya defended the methodology for calculating GDP, noting it was recommended by bodies appointed during the previous administration (UPA government).

“Nobody has questioned the integrity of those who actually do these (GDP) numbers. This is a new kind of phenomenon, which I don’t understand,” he said.

Subramanian, a former chief economic advisor, had recently said, “I want to be honest with you that the latest GDP numbers, I just simply can not understand them. I say that with genuine respect and things. They are absolutely mystifying. They don’t add up. I don’t know what they mean,” Subramanian had said.

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  • Published On Mar 28, 2024 at 04:07 PM IST

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