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The government on Thursday said base year for calculating gross domestic product was changed to 2011-12 due to a change in the socio-economic environment of the country. In a reply to a question in the Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for Statistics, Programme Implementation and Planning Rao Inderjit Singh said that over the past 70 years, the base year has been changed seven times. It was changed in 1967, 1978, 1988, 1999, 2006, 2010 and last time in 2015, when the base year was changed to 2011-12, he said.
"This is not the first time that the base year for computing...GDP has been changed. "Even the United Nation's System of National Accounts says that the base year should be periodically changed so as to get full rainbow colours of the economy into the mapping, so that you get the proper estimate as to what is going on in the country's GDP," he said. The reason for this change in the base year was that the socio-economic environment of the country has changed. "The entry of smartphone has come in, whereas there were teleprinters and typewriters earlier. Business models have (also) changed, like Ola and Uber.
There is a price dynamic also as the price of computers has decreased." he said. Singh also added that there is a change in consumption pattern. "The structural change in the economy have been computed over various periods because there have been different times when the base year has been changed," he said adding that it does not need any apprehension. The minister's reply came over a supplementary question asked by Santanu Sen of the All India Trinamool Congress.