New Delhi: Former president Pranab Mukherjee has expressed dissatisfaction over India’s economic growth, saying that the country should have made more progress.
“Today, the Indian economy is worth 2.268 trillion US dollar. I am not satisfied. As a former Finance Minister, I think we should have done much more progress. It should have been five to six trillion US dollar economy,” Mukherjee said while addressing a seminar on the topic ‘Value of education in today’s scenario’ at the Greenwood High International School in Hyderabad.
Recalling India’s progress from the time when it was not able to even manufacture a fountain pen during the colonial era, Mukherjee said the 71 years of Independence and 68 years of planning resulted in India rising to become one of the largest economies. “We are the third military power of the world,” he said.
Highlighting the country’s achievements in science and technology besides space research, he said, “We are the only country till today, out of 184 members of the United Nations, which succeeded in sending its orbiter to Mars in its very first attempt.”
Earlier in the day on Wednesday, the government lowered country’s economic growth rate during the previous Congress-led UPA regime. Recalibrating data of past years using 2011-12 as the base year instead of 2004-05, the Central Statistics Office (CSO) estimated that India’s GDP grew by 8.5 per cent in the financial year 2010-11 (April 2010 to March 2011) and not at 10.3 per cent as previously estimated.
Similarly, 9.3 per cent growth rate each in 2005-06 and 2006-07 was lowered to 7.9 per cent and 8.1 per cent respectively, while 7.7 per cent rate was now estimated for 2007-08 instead of 9.8 per cent.
The so-called back-series data released Wednesday is in contrast to an August 2018 report by the Committee on Real Sector Statistics appointed by the National Statistical Commission (NSC), the autonomous body that helps in collection of data by India’s statistical agencies.
In the report, which the government had subsequently stated was a draft seeking comments from stakeholders, the economy grew at a faster pace under the UPA government from 2004-05 to 2013-14, compared with the average growth during the first four years of the current government.
It had put the GDP growth at 10.08 per cent in 2006-07 under the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the highest since the liberalisation of the economy in 1991.
(With inputs from PTI)