Govt may lower GDP estimation for 2011-12 fiscal

New Delhi: The government may lower the growth projections for the last fiscal, which was pegged at 6.9 per cent, in view of sharp downward revision of industrial output numbers for January.

"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," a Finance Ministry official told PTI.

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

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

Accordingly, the cumulative growth figure for April-January (2011-12) was lowered to 3.4 per cent, from 4 per cent. The downward revision, sources said, could have a bearing on the economic growth figures for the last fiscal, which was 6.9 per cent, 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 (IIP) numbers and termed it as "totally baffling".

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

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.

"Subsequent to the release (of IIP data for January 2012), it has been detected … that the sugar production was wrongly taken as 134.08 lakh tonnes in place of actual figure of 58.09 lakh tonnes," the CSO said.

After clocking an over 9 per cent growth for three consecutive years, the Indian economic growth slowed to 8.4 per cent in 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal as an impact of global economic downturn.