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Post-Demonetisation, Does The Modi Government Have Enough Data To Prepare The Budget?

"How much they will shave off, no one can guess."

09/01/2017 11:36 AM IST | Updated 09/01/2017 12:56 PM IST
Adnan Abidi / Reuters

The Modi government is planning to present the 2017-2018 budget on 1 February, but the Centre may not have enough data available, according to a Bloomberg report. Modi's statistics office has refused information on the impact of demonetisation on the Gross Domestic Product, according to the report, projecting only a three-year low for the economy.

"If the budget has to be tabled by Feb. 1, the papers will have to go for printing by Jan. 20. This would indicate that they won't get any more data," Pronab Sen, India's national statistician until 2010, told Bloomberg.

Sen also told the news agency that the Statistics Office had correctly used available data to offer an estimate of what the economy would look like without demonetization, and left the Finance Ministry to fill in the blanks. "How much they will shave off, no one can guess," he said.

READ: Small Firms See 35% Job Losses, 50% Sales Decline, Says Largest Manufacturing Trade Body

The Modi government launched demonetisation on 8 November, pitching that it would curb black money and corruption.

Economists said that it is difficult to predict the fallout of demonetisation. "No economist worth his salt should comment on the long term impact demonetization is going to have on the Indian economy," Abhay Aima, country head equities & private banking, told Bloomberg. "There has been no precedence of something like this. You never know how this is going to turn out," he said.

READ: ₹75,000 Crore Worth Of Old Notes Not Returned To Banks, Says Report

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