This refers to T N Ninan's column "Suddenly, better numbers" (Weekend Ruminations, January 31). A change in base year may not change the reality at the ground level. But it is comforting to find that we are slowly moving to a scenario when more authentic and current figures will guide the planning and assessment of our country's position vis-a-vis other developing nations by other countries and rating agencies.
The previous Reserve Bank of India Governor D Subbarao had often expressed anguish over the obsoleteness of figures that formed the basis for crucial policy decisions. India was late in introducing even the concept of purchasing power parity while making projections and comparisons. We have been very conservative in assessing the country's net worth. This has allowed other countries to project India in bad light.
There should be no further delay in creating a reliable record of our country's resources, irrespective of ownership. Gross assets should be classified into categories such as: assets that have to be protected, but are not available for immediate use (these may include heritage assets, wealth with religious organisations and so on); assets that can be brought to the mainstream and put to productive use; and assets that should be part of the planning process with the nation's priorities in economic development in view.
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