In­con­sis­tent data wor­ries top bank


Cast­ing doubts over var­i­ous fi­nance and eco­nomic sta­tis­tics is­sued by the govern­ment, Re­serve Bank of In­dia deputy gov­er­nor S.S. Mun­dra on Fri­day said cen­tral bankers were faced with dif­fi­culty in for­mu­lat­ing ap­pro­pri­ate pol­icy in ab­sence of con­sis­tent and co­her­ent data.

“Very of­ten, even within RBI also, we have to grap­ple with in­con­sis­tent, in­co­her­ent and in­com­plete data sets which se­verely un­der­mine pol­icy for­mu­la­tion. There are also prob­lems around data de­sign and data ar­chi­tec­ture like var­ied def­i­ni­tions, dif­fer­ent re­port­ing dates, etc,” Dr Mun­dra said in his ad­dress re­search del­e­gates at ICFAI here.

Dr Mun­dra’s com­ments on re­li­a­bil­ity of data come a day af­ter RBI gov­er­nor Raghu­ram Ra­jan sug­gested a relook at the method­ol­ogy to cal­cu­late GDP fig­ures, though they were speak­ing in two dif­fer­ent con­texts.

“There are prob­lems with the way we count GDP which is why we need to be care­ful some­times just talk­ing about growth,” Dr Ra­jan told the stu­dents of a Del­hibased in­sti­tute on Thurs­day.

While th­ese com­ments may punc­ture the claims of the govern­ment about the coun­try be­ing fastest grow­ing ma­jor econ­omy in the world, they will en­hance the al­ready strong cred­i­bil­ity that RBI en­joys among the global in­vestor com­mu­nity.

Go­ing against the trend of con­sid­er­ing fi­nan­cial in­clu­sion as easy to achieve task, the RBI deputy gov­er­nor said, “While ev­ery­one agrees that the seg­ment has im­mense po­ten­tial, it is cer­tainly not a low hang­ing fruit.”

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