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Congress spreads misinformation to belittle India’s achievement of becoming sixth largest Economy

India has surged past France to become the world’s sixth largest economy based on World Bank’s nominal GDP data for 2017. India’s nominal GDP in 2017 stood at USD 2.597 trillion as compared to France’s USD 2.582 trillion. This achievement comes at a time when the Modi government is under a constant attack from the opposition and certain sections of the media for allegedly mismanaging the economy.

Congress President Rahul Gandhi claimed that Modi has given our economy ‘a stroke’. Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram said that under Modi government, Indian economy is like “a vehicle with 3 punctured tires”. Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh claimed that Modi has “systematically dismantled” the economy. Anti-Modi propaganda newspaper New York Times also painted a grim picture of ‘worsening’ Indian economy.

While economic indicators never supported any of these claims, the propaganda did not stop. The Congress ecosystem is now spreading misinformation about India’s latest GDP achievement. They are using India’s GDP ranking based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP) to claim that the ranking has actually worsened during Modi government. Below are some examples of this misleading claim.

Congress spokesperson Brijesh Kalappa peddled the same theory.

Maharashtra Congress General Secretary and social media coordinator Abhijit Sapkal followed suit.

Congress Digital Communications team member Gaurav Pandhi too chimed in.

And if party functionaries weren’t enough, a journalist working for PTI, too, furthered the same narrative.

These Congressmen (and journalists) have mixed two completely different indicators to claim that Indian economy fared better under the UPA government. The recent World Bank ranking, which ranked India at the sixth position, is based on nominal GDP. Nominal GDP measures the actual value of final goods and services produced in a country. The GDP growth estimates are given by the government, RBI and international agencies are all based on nominal GDP. The following infographic shows India’s ranking over the years based on nominal GDP.

Nominal GDP Rankings (Source - World Bank Data)
Nominal GDP Rankings (Source – World Bank Data)

This clearly shows that during the last four years of UPA government, India’s GDP ranking worsened from Rank 9 to Rank 10, while in the first four years of Modi government, it improved from Rank 10 to Rank 6. So what’s the number 3 ranking as claimed by Congressmen? It is based on Purchasing Power Parity (PPP), which is a measure of the domestic purchasing power of the currencies of different nations. Which is NOT based on the market value of INR or USD. In short, GDP at PPP can NOT be compared to nominal GDP. India’s rank based on GDP at PPP was #4 from 2003 to 2008. It improved to #3 in 2009 and has been constant since then (source – World Bank Data).

So as things stand now, according to the PPP model, India’s rank has remained stagnant at Number 3 since 2009.

According to Nominal GDP method, India’s rank improved 10 to 6 from 2014 to 2017.

While Congress will continue to misrepresent facts for political gains, the truth is that India is marching ahead and is poised to overtake the UK to become the world’s fifth largest economy in 2018.

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