Pointing out that the country is moving towards data-based governance, Chief Economic Advisor Krishnamurthy Subramanian on Wednesday underscored the importance of data integrity for achieving the strategic developmental goals through effective benchmarking. 

Referring to the GDP numbers and data on employment, Subramanian said: “Both the job creation and GDP numbers are now being analysed based on the new proxies; therefore, the numbers are not comparable.”

 “When the economy is changing rapidly, we cannot evaluate it with the same benchmarks. It requires to be calibrated to the new proxies. To ascribe bias or motive is unfortunate,” he told BusinessLine .

The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) was initiated in 2017 based on the recommendations of a task force on improving the employment data. It performs quarterly surveys in urban areas and annual surveys in rural and urban areas. 

The parameters for conducting this survey are different from those followed in the earlier model wherein 75 per cent weightage was assigned to households where at least one member had secondary education or above. The PLFS survey that factors in formal employment does not represent workers engaged in informal employment. 

“The sampling methodology is different. It is difficult to capture jobs in the unorganised sector, which accounts for 80 per cent,” he said. 

Explaining the GDP numbers, he added that they are based on new proxies. For instance, earlier, the IIP was based on factory output. Now, it is broadbased with inputs provided by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs.

“If someone were to argue that the numbers were boosted, then why was the growth higher two quarters ago and slightly lower now. This could have been boosted up as well,” he argued.