On Wednesday, Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman while talking in a debate over variance in numbers in the Economic Survey and the Budget, said both the documents present consistent picture and her budget numbers are authentic and projections based on realistic estimates.
During the general discussion on the Budget in the Lok Sabha, the members raised concerns to which Ms. Sithraman replies, “The data which is given in the Budget is 100 percent above board…there need not be any speculation on the figures which have been given out. Every number is authentic.”
She claimed that the growth of nominal GDP for 2019-20 in the Budget documents, has been projected at 12 percent over the advance nominal GDP estimates of Rs, 188,46,731 crore for 2018-19.
“Both the projections, I underline, ”both the projections” are consistent with each other, as each of them projects the nominal GDP of Rs. 211,00,607 crore for the year 2019-20.
“This is because as compared to the Economic Survey, the higher GDP growth rate of 12 percent projected in the Budget documents of 2019-20, is on a lower base, lower GDP base for 2018-19,” the minister said.
Ms. Sitharaman said, to ensure comparability with the interim budget, the GDP data has been used. “Using the same GDP base ensures comparability – Budget to Budget, Interim and the Regular, Regular with the last year Regular. It is possible only by using a comparable base.
“So, using the same GDP base ensures comparability of deficit ratios projected for 2019-20 in both the Interim and in this July Budget and as much as what was relevant data in the last year’s Budget,” she added.
“So, I hope, scholars, respected Members of this House who thought that too many figures were floating around, would now be clear that they have reasons for being there; and it is, therefore, the consistency with which the Government’s Budget Document is produced – whether it is Interim or the Regular as different from what is used in the Economic Survey,” she further claimed.