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India’s growth rate overestimated by 2.5%, says study by former chief economic advisor

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]A new study by none less than India’s former Chief Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian may have punctured India’s much vaunted status as world’s fastest growing economy.

Titled India’s GDP Mis-estimation: Likelihood, Magnitudes, Mechanisms, and Implications, Subramanian’s working paper for the Center for International Development at Harvard University, US, is critical of Indian statisticians and the way India’s GDP growth has been estimated after 2011-12.

It says the expansion was overestimated by as much as 2.5 per cent between 2011 and 2017, that is, during UPA-2 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first term. Rather than growing at about 7% a year in that period, growth was about 4.5%.However, it doesn’t break this down by year.

But this means India’s claim of being the world’s fastest-growing major economy may not have been true.

“The Indian policy automobile has been navigated with a faulty, possibly broken, speedometer,” says Arvind Subramanian, who was Chief Economic Adviser for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government between 2014 and 2018. He asserts that the overestimation is not political.

“My new research suggests that post-global financial crisis, the heady narrative of a guns-blazing India – that statisticians led us to believe – may have to cede to a more realistic one of an economy growing solidly but not spectacularly,” Subramanian wrote in The Indian Express, attributing the overestimation to “methodological changes”.

The previous Congress-led government changed the methodology in calculating gross domestic product in 2012. One of the key adjustments was a shift to financial accounts-based data compiled by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, from volume-based data previously. This made GDP estimates more sensitive to price changes, in a period of lower oil prices, according to the research paper. Rather than deflate input values by input prices, the new methodology deflated these values by output prices, which could have overstated manufacturing growth.

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Subramanian carried out an experiment, one that many other economists have also been doing for India: he made an index of other data sources that could reflect what is happening in the actual economy, such as electricity consumption, two-wheeler sales, index of industrial production and so on. None of these were figures that came from the Central Statistical Office, which compiles the GDP statistics.

Subramanian’s index found that these indicators tend to move closely in step with the GDP number between 2001-’02 and 2011-’12. But from 2011-’12 to 2016-’17, there are huge gaps between them. The paper uses various methods, including indicators from India and other countries, to test mis-estimation in growth, all of which confirm the belief that GDP growth was over-estimated.

Subramanian insists that the paper is only the start, and much more research needs to be done. But, in looking at the data, he does offer one explanation for why the new methodology of calculating GDP might have thrown out bad data.

Based on the experiment, Subramanian finds that before 2011, the official estimates of manufacturing move along with other indicators, like the index of industrial production. But under the new methodology, this connection is completely broken.

The reasons for this are more complicated but, to put it simply, the paper suggests that the new GDP methodology does not properly take into account how changes in global oil prices (and possibly other “input” commodities) might affect actual figures. Ultimately, this means that the new GDP methodology has a completely flawed understanding of manufacturing numbers.

But this only explains about a 1 percentage point of the overall 2.5 percentage point over-estimation. More research is needed to understand what else is going wrong.

Subramanian points out that this isn’t just a matter of denting India’s reputation. Bad data would also affect policymaking For example, the Reserve Bank of India might have cut interest rates much earlier if it was known that GDP growth was that much lower, and the government might have moved much quicker to resolve the banking crisis or agricultural concerns.

According to the former top economic adviser, the popular narrative has been one of “jobless growth”, hinting at a disconnect between fundamental dynamism and key outcomes. “In reality,weak job growth and acute financial sector stress may have simply stemmed from modest GDP growth. Going forward, there must be reform urgency stemming from the new knowledge that growth has been tepid, not torrid; And from recognising that growth of 4.5 per cent will make the government’s laudable inclusion agenda difficult to sustain fiscally.”

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Dr Subramanian explains that when he was working with the government, he had grappled with conflicting data and “raised doubts frequently” with the government. “But the time and space afforded by being outside government were necessary to undertake months of very detailed research, including subjecting it to careful scrutiny and cross-checking by numerous colleagues, to generate robust evidence,” he says.

The paper has three recommendations for what India needs to do:

India must “restore growth as a key policy objective”.

India must “restore the reputational damage suffered to data generation,” not only by giving statutory independence to the National Statistical Commission (which currently has no independent members) but also by hiring people with “stellar technical and personal reputations”.

The entire methodology and implementation for GDP estimation must be revisited by an independent task force, comprising both national and international experts, with impeccable technical credentials and demonstrable stature.

On the other hand, the politically appointed NITI Aayog was seen as interfering with India’s statistical operations. Recently, word has emerged that the BJP is thinking about a new law to merge the main bodies that work on statistics, potentially undermining their independence.

 

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RBI mandates tokenisation of debit and credit cards from October 1, here are the new rules kicking in | FAQ

The last date to tokenise your cards is September 30.

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RBI mandates tokenisation of debit and credit cards from October 1, here are the new rules kicking in | FAQ

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has announced new rules for debit and credit card holders from October 1. Under these rules, the users are required to tokenise their debit and credit cards. The last date to tokenise your cards is September 30.

But what actually is tokenisation? Here’s all you need to know about it.

What is tokenisation of Debit and Credit cards?

As per the RBI, tokenisation refers to the replacement of actual card details with an alternate code called the token.

What is the benefit of tokenisation?

Since the merchant is not given access to the actual card information while completing the transaction, tokenized card transactions are perceived to be safer.

Will the merchant have access to your personal information after tokenisation?

The merchants can’t store information like CVV and the number while making a transaction. RBI considers tokenisation as the more secure and safest online payment system.

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How can the tokenisation be carried out?

By submitting a request through the token requestor’s app, the cardholder can have their card tokenized. The token requestor will send the request to the card network, and with the card issuer’s approval, the card network will issue a token corresponding to the combination of the card, the token requestor, and the device.

How to tokenise your card?

Step 1: Visit the merchant’s website or app and initiate a transaction.
Step 2: Select the credit or debit card and enter the CVV details.
Step 3: Then an option will pop up-either- Secure your card or Save card as per RBI guidelines. Tick-mark the check box.
Step 4: After that, you will receive the OTP on your registered mobile number.
Step 5: Now, the tokenisation process is done.

Can you de-tokenise the card?

Yes, you can convert the token back to actual card details. This is known as de-tokenisation.

What are the charges that the customer needs to pay for availing of this service?

The customer need not pay any charges for availing of this service.

How is tokenisation different from Credit and Debit cards?

The 16-digit card number will be replaced with a token that is created by the card network and sent back to the retailer. The retailer will keep a record of this token for the next transactions. To continue with the approval process, they must enter their CVV and OTP.

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Bank holidays October 2022: Banks to remain closed for 21 days due to Durga Puja, Diwali, and Chhath, check the full list of holidays here

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the list of bank holidays in October 2022 according to the guidelines.

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Bank holidays October 2022

October is a month full of festivities across India. This means banks working days will be affected. Last month, banks were shut for 21 days based on the festivals inlcuding Onam, Heroes’ Martrydom Day, Maharaja Agrasen Jayanti, S Bhagat Singh Jayanti, and others.

The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has released the list of bank holidays in October 2022 according to the guidelines. The RBI divides holidays into three categories-Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act and Real-Time Gross Settlement Holiday, Holiday under Negotiable Instruments Act, and Banks’ Closing of Accounts.

In October, both private and public sector banks will remain closed for 21 days due to multiple festivals including Durga Puja/Dussehra, Diwali, and Chhath Puja including the second and fourth Saturdays and Sundays.

Check the full list of bank holidays here

  • October 1: Half Yearly Closing of Bank Accounts
  • October 2: Sunday & Gandhi Jayanti Holiday
  • October 3: Durga Puja (Maha Ashtami)
  • October 4: Durga Puja/Dussehra (Maha Navami)/Ayudha pooja/Janmotsav of Srimanta Sankardeva
  • October 5: Durga Puja/Dussehra (Vijaya Dashmi)/Janmotsav of Srimanta Sankardeva
  • October 6: Durga Puja (Dashain)
  • October 7: Durga Puja (Dashain)
  • October 8: Second Saturday Holiday and Milad-i-Sherif/Eid-i-Milad-ul-Nabi (Birthday of Prophet Muhammed)
  • October 9: Sunday
  • October 13: Karva Chauth
  • October 14: Friday following Eid-i-Milad-ul-Nabi
  • October 16: Sunday
  • October 18: Kati Bihu
  • October 22: fourth Saturday
  • October 23: Sunday
  • October 24: Kali Puja/Deepavali/Diwali (Laxmi Pujan)/Naraka Chaturdashi)
  • October 25: Laxmi Puja/Deepawali/Govardhan Pooja
  • October 26: Govardhan Pooja/Vikram Samvant New Year Day/Bhai Bij/Bhai Duj/Diwali (Bali Pratipada)/Laxmi Puja/Accession Day
  • October 27: Bhaidooj/Chitragupt Jayanti/Laxmi Puja/Deepawali/Ningol Chakkouba
  • October 30: Sunday
  • October 31: Sardar Vallabhbhai Patels Birthday/Surya Pashti Dala Chhath (Morning ardhya)/Chhath Puja

Full list of weekly bank holidays across India

  • October 16: Sunday
  • October 22: Fourth Saturday
  • October 23: Sunday
  • October 30: Sunday

October is full of festivities and to avoid any inconvenience bank holders are advised to plan their bank visit accordingly.

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Cyrus Mistry, former Tata Group chairman, dies in road accident in Palghar

The official said four people were in the car when the accident happened, of which two succumbed to injuries.

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Cyrus Mistry, former Tata Group chairman, dies in road accident in Palghar

Industrialist and former Tata Sons chairman Cyrus Mistry died in a car accident on Sunday. The accident took place in Palghar at around 3:15 pm on a bridge over the Surya river when the 54-year-old was travelling to Mumbai from Ahmedabad. The industrialist succumbed to injuries.

According to the reports, Mistry was returning from Ahmedabad when his car hit the divider on the road. The reports of his demise have been confirmed by the Palghar Superintendent of Police.

The official said four people were in the car when the accident happened, of which two succumbed to injuries. The other two, including the driver, have been injured. All the injured have been admitted to a local hospital in Kasa. The industrialist was travelling in a Mercedes car.

Mistry is survived by his wife Rohiqa Chagla, the daughter of lawyer Iqbal Chagla and granddaughter of jurist M.C. Chagla, and two sons Firoz Mistry and Zahan Mistry.

Cyrus Mistry’s daughter Aloo is the wife of Noel Tata, Ratan Tata’s step-brother.

All you need to know about Cyrus Mistry

Cyrus Pallonji Mistry was the sixth chairman of the Tata Group and only the second after Nowroji Saklatwala, to not bear the surname Tata.

After Ratan Tata announced his retirement in December 2012, Cyrus Mistry took over as chairman.

He assumed leadership of the Tata Group in December of that year after being chosen by a selection committee in mid-2012. But after 4 years he was removed in a boardroom coup led by Tata Trusts, which owned 66 per cent of Tata Sons and was controlled by Ratan Tata.  

Natarajan Chandrasekaran was appointed as the new chairman a few months after the former chairman, Ratan Tata, returned as an interim chairman.

In May, the Supreme Court rejected a petition by the Sapoorji Pallonji (SP) group asking for a review of the 2021 judgement upholding the Tata group’s decision to oust Cyrus Mistry as executive chairman of the Tata Sons.

After his Tata stint, Cyrus went on to set up a venture capital firm, Mistry Ventures LLP.

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