Finance minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday slammed the 108 economists who alleged political interference in publication of statistical data as “purported economists” and said the “compulsive contrarians” are running “fake campaigns” against the government.
Last week, 108 economists and social scientists alleged in a statement that the government has been influencing statistical data, threatening institutional independence of the organisations. The signatories included Jean Dreze, Abhijit Sen, Emily Breza, Esther Duflo and Jayati Ghosh. “The recent statement by the 108 purported economists needs to be analysed. Most of them have, over the last few years, repeatedly signed the memorandums of manufactured political issues against the present Government,” Jaitley said in his latest blog, Agenda 2019.
He said the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), which handles data management, functions independently. “Our data is maintained as per the best global practices. The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund have always commented favourably while accepting our data,” he said.