Courtesy: Sridhar Subramaniam + The Hindu + IMF report
"My Mind is Made up. Don’t confuse me with facts", a famous quote is attributed to Roy Durstine, a specialist in advertisement.
What is the one thing that Narendra Modi government hates passionately? Data. Ever since he came to power, he has been busier in hiding more data and reports than that he made public. Sridhar have cited this in many of his earlier posts. Now, the IMF too seems to have realized it.
All IMF member countries are expected to submit monthly reports to the organisation on various factors related to economy. These include regulars such as GDP, production data, employment, etc. This set of reports is called Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS).
All member countries have been diligently submitting this, including India. Of course, once in while some reports go missing in the submission, or a data or two go unreported. Once all the reports are received, IMF verifies this and publishes these lapses. India too has missed such reports in the past, but they have generally been in single digits. The largest number of missing reports was 11.
In 2018, India has missed out a total of 49 reports in its submissions, a record of sorts. IMF has so far only pointed it as a non-serious deviation and only flagged it up, but we who know this government quite well, know that Modi violently dislikes data and reports. Unemployment Report, Farmer Suicides, National Crime Records Report, and the list of reports this government had hidden go on. Having seen all these, the IMF report isn’t surprising. In fact, the ex-chairman of National Statistics Commission PC Mohan has criticised the IMF subission, by blaming the lack of transparency and lack of respect for data to help with policy decisions is the reason for the current state of economy. He has also remarked that even the reports that have been submitted are full of factual and computing errors and it looks like they were put together haphazardly, and no one seems to have reviewed them.
//Even as questions have been raised about the delays in data dissemination from various government agencies — the most recent data from the National Crime Records Bureau dates back to 2016 and accident statistics have not been updated since 2015 — a recent report published by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), shows that inconsistencies have crept into into the dissemination of fiscal datasets as well.//
//India’s non-compliance in multiple categories in 2018 and to an extent in 2017 breaks with an otherwise near perfect dissemination record.//
//The report lists three types of deviations from SDDS. The first deals with delays in data dissemination from the periodicity prescribed in the SDDS. The second occurs when member countries do not list a data category in their Advance Release Calendars (ARC) despite the category being mandated by the SDDS. The third deviation occurs when data is not disseminated at all for a particular period. India, in 2018, has deviated from the SDDS in at least one instance in all the data categories listed.//
//An “X” entry reflects “data not being disseminated”. In 2018, in at least nine data categories, India has not disseminated data. None of the other BRICS countries’ reports records missing data for the period. An “O” entry corresponds to “no mention in ARC”. In at least three data categories, India has not mentioned a prescribed entry in its advanced data release calendar — again the odd one out among the BRICS nations.//
For IMF report: Annual Observance Report of the Special Data Dissemination Standard for 2018
IMF report flags several delays in India’s data reporting