MOSPI constitutes Standing Committee on Economic Statistics headed by Pronab Sen

Highlights: 

  • The statistics ministry has constituted a 28 member Standing Committee on Statistics (SCES) chaired by former Chief Statistician Pronab Sen to improve quality of data amid criticism of the government over political interference.
  • The first meeting of the SCES is scheduled on January 6, 2020.
  • The agenda would be very broad based. We will come to know about that only in the first meeting next month.
  • The order to set up the committee has already been issued.
  • Earlier in March this year, expressing concerns over “political interference” in influencing statistical data in India, as many as 108 economists and social scientists had called for restoration of “institutional independence” and integrity to the statistical organisations.
  • Their statement had come in the backdrop of controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO).
  • India’s statistical machinery enjoyed a high-level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters.
  • Earlier in November this year, the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) had decided not to release the Consumer Expenditure Survey results of 2017-18 citing data quality issues.
  • The MOSPI had also mentioned that an expert panel has recommended that 2017-18 would not be an appropriate fiscal to be used as a base year for new GDP series.