Fact Check: Did Raghuram Rajan go clueless when asked about India’s GDP?

An edited clip of Raghuram Rajan has gone viral with a misleading claim.
(Source: Screenshot Social Media)
(Source: Screenshot Social Media)

 A video of the former governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Raghuram Rajan, has gone viral on social media. In the viral video, the interviewer asks, “Recently, the GDP data came out; you said in a conversation with Rahul Gandhi that we will be lucky if we achieve 5 per cent next year. We have achieved 7.6 per cent in this quarter.” Raghuram Rajan seems to have no answer to this.

The video is shared to claim that Raghuram Rajan was clueless about the current economic conditions of India and he also went speechless during the interview.

A social media user shared the video with the caption, “He is the worst RBI Governor India ever had! Complete pappu level. (sic)”

A similar post can be seen here.

Fact Check

SouthCheck found that the claim is misleading. An edited video clip was shared to claim that Raghuram Rajan went blank when the interviewer informed him of how his prediction of the current economic condition of India had gone wrong.

After closely observing the video, we found that it was from the YouTube channel India Today’s The Lallantop. Taking a clue, we searched the video on YouTube and found that it was published on December 17, 2023.

The caption associated with the video suggests that Raghuram Rajan was on Lallantop’s talk show to promote his book, Breaking the Mould. The book read was written by him in collaboration with the economist Rohit Lamba.

In the video, he pauses the question and replies that ‘it is an organised effort, and we became lucky.’ He said that it was our luck that the world also showed growth. America had seen a growth of 5.2 per cent in the previous quarter, while its potential was 2 per cent. This means America saw a growth of 3 per cent more. Thus, India saw growth because the world economy grew faster, but everybody was expecting the world economy to grow.

He further said that the Indian government also increased the rate of infrastructure development to support the economy. He also credited the government for investing in the economy.

The Business Today also supported Raghuram Rajan’s statement. It said, “The World Economic Outlook published in October this year, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said global growth was forecast to slow from 3.5 per cent in 2022 to 3.0 per cent in 2023 and 2.9 per cent in 2024. The growth projections for the US were 2.1 per cent in 2023 and 1.5 per cent in 2024.  However, America's growth in the past three quarters was 2.20 per cent, 2.10 per cent, and 5.20 per cent - higher than the forecast.”

On infrastructure development, the report suggested that in the Union Budget 2023-24, the Centre increased the investment outlay for infrastructure by 33 per cent to Rs 10 lakh crore, which was 3.3 per cent of GDP.

Hence, we ascertain that the viral video is edited and shared with a misleading claim.

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