Risking reputation

It has become customary for Mr. T. N. Ninan to alternate the focus of his Op.Eds – if one op.-ed is critical, another one would praise UPA for some obscure reason. Today’s Op.-Ed. falls in that category. He takes up the likely upward revision to Indian GDP data for 20123-13 and says that UPA track record on growth will not be so bad as after all:

Timely steps on such fronts might have made it possible for the government to go to voters in the summer with a resilient growth record, lower inflation and the image of a purposive administration; it could even have claimed that India was shining! [Link]

He is streching creduility, risking his reputation and without adding anything to UPA’s reputation either. This is a poor trade-off.

People would not have believed that India was shining because statisticians say so. Commercial vehicle sales, sale of domestic passenger vehicles, mobile phone subscriptions, Initial Public Offerings, production in core industries, production of consumer durables and even non-durables, job creation, tax collections, RBI quarterly survey of industrial activity under many parameters (1207 manufacturing firms are surveyed), the rise in non-performing and bad assets (so-called restructured assets) – all of these present a very different picture and will not change just because statisticians will upgrade India’s GDP growth number for 2012-13. Just check out the most recent (published on October 28, 2013) RBI survey on industrial outlook. The next one should be due in the coming week.

One does not want to mention things like fiscal populism, bad legislative initiatives and divisive policies, etc.

Even if the unincorporated and unregistered enterprises are doing well (as some claim), their output must be flowing through to the formal sector. Hence, the struggle that the formal, incorporated sector faces raises questions on the so-called boom/resilience argument of the unincorporated sector.

One fails to fathom the purpose of these articles.


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