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IIP data not very reliable: Chidambaram

Source: PTI
October 10, 2008 16:33 IST
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In the face of industrial growth plummeting to 1.3 per cent in August, Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday said the data are not very reliable and satisfactory.

"The IIP (Index of Industrial Production) numbers are not very satisfactory and at the same time they are not very reliable. I have conveyed my concerns a couple of months ago to the Ministry of Industry, I have conveyed them today," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.

As a result of mere 1.3 per cent growth in August, compared with 10.9 in August 2007, industry grew by just 4.9 per cent in the first five months of the current financial year, according to data released by the government on Friday.

He said an independent economist has pointed out to him at least two or three features of the current IIP number which were quite out of line with any kind of calculation.

"It does not sound right at all. IIP numbers have to be looked into carefully," Chidambaram added.

"Please remember what happened to the IIP number of July. They revised it upwards to 7.4. It is possible that IIP for August is low, I am not denying it," he said.

When contacted for comments on the FM's statement, chief statistician of India Pronab Sen said: "The IIP data is as reliable as it was years ago."

He, however, added: "Revision of IIP data has been on our cards for a while but getting the data flow has been a problem. There is no regular flow from new units and new products."

On the impact of slowdown in IIP, Chidambaram said: "I think the IIP number has to be taken as just one input. We should look at many other numbers exports, imports, FDI and capacity to raise ECB.

"At this stage, it would be difficult to say what the impact on macro economy will be, but I am confident that our economy will still grow at a very satisfactory rate."
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