Indian economy's growth rate slowed by more than one percentage point to 7.1 percent in the July-September quarter from the previous quarter. 

The slump in the gross domestic product (GDP) expansion from the previous quarter's 8.2 percent could complicate matters for the Narendra Modi government, which is about to enter an election year.

The second quarter GDP growth rate was higher than the 6.3 percent in the same period in the previous year, but it fell short of the expectation of 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent.

The national economy hit the slowest GDP growth in three quarters, though it continued to lead China to remain the world's fastest-growing major economy, said reports quoting a government statement.

The slump in GDP growth could give more firepower to critics of the Bharatiya Janata Party-led government's recent revision of back series GDP numbers lowering the estimates for the time when the Congress party-led predecessor was in office.

A section of economists have criticised Modi for the currency demonetisation and the way the Goods and Services Tax (GST) was implemented affecting the economy's growth.

The GVA (basic price) at constant (2011-2012) prices for 2019 financial year Q2 was estimated at Rs31.40 trillion, when compared to Rs29.38 trillion for the same period in the previous financial year, marking a 6.9 percent growth, the government said.

The sectors of manufacturing, electricity, gas, water supply and other utility services, construction, public administration, defence and related services registered growth of over 7 percent in Q2 of FY19 year on year.

The growth rates in the agriculture, forestry and fishing, mining and quarrying, trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting, and financial, real estate and professional services were estimated at 3.8 per cent, negative 2.4 per cent, 6.8 per cent, and 6.3 per cent, respectively, during this period.

The weakening momentum of the economy could worry the government as the ruling National Democratic Alliance enters an election year.

Poor light

The new numbers have been released amid criticism in some quarters the Arun Jaitley-led finance ministry changed the methodology of GDP growth calculation to show the Manmohan Singh years in poor light.

The government claimed that the new back series GDP growth numbers only changed the base year for calculation from 2005-06 to 2011-12 to bring it up to the international practices.

The new number lowered the peak GDP growth rate under the UPA from 10.3 percent in 2010-11 to 8.5 percent, wiping off the only year in which the nation recorded double-digit growth.

The data revision, which showed that the growth during the UPA years was even lower than the growth in the past four years, was hard to reconcile because the first UPA government had witnessed tremendous economic tailwinds, a Business Today report said.

The GDP growth controversy is unlikely to die out any time soon. To complicate matters the National Statistics Commission calculations, which had been briefly released by accident and then hastily withdrawn, had worked out very different growth numbers.

Critics suggest the government not only changed the base year for the calculation but also tampered with the methodology to arrive at a new set of numbers.