The PIB called out Pankaj Pachauri, Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Go News and formerly the communications adviser to Manmohan Singh during the latter’s Prime Ministerial tenure, on Tuesday for spreading fake news against the government regarding trade between India and China. Pankaj Pachauri claimed that Indian imports from China had increased by 27% at a time when there’s tension between the two countries at the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
PIB said on its fact-check account on Twitter, “Pankaj Pachauri has claimed in a #Tweet that India’s imports from China have increased by 27% during April-August. This claim is #Fake. India’s imports from China decreased by 27.63% whereas India’s exports to China increased by 27% during April-August.”
It was reported in September that Indian imports from China declined by 27.63% during April-August as compared to the same period last year. “India’s imports from China have declined by 27.63 per cent during April-August, 2020-21 over the corresponding period of the previous year,” Commerce and Industry Minister Piyush Goyal said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha. Simultaneously, exports increased by 27% during the same period.
Pankaj Pachauri had made the claim in a tweet attempting to emulate poetic ingenuity, however, he ended up sacrificing factual accuracy in pursuit of it. He said, “While India shows “red eyes” to China at LAC and invites Quad navies to encircle “the Dragon” India’s imports from China increase 27% between April-August. Business of politics do not come in the way of real business. Never.”
Pankaj Pachauri is yet to withdraw his tweet. Instead, he has quoted the fake news tweet with a comment saying, “Corrigendum: A government functionary pointed out that its exports not imports which increased 27% April onwards. The point is that trade with China is increasing while we have an eyeball to eyeball situation at LAC. And China’s share in our trade has also increased meanwhile.”
Thus, quite clearly, the ‘journalist’ has decided to brazen it out despite being caught spreading fake news.