Panel will look at existing gaps and overlaps on data points: Pronab Sen

Topics NSO | Indian Economy

Pronab Sen
Pronab Sen, chairman of the recently-constituted standing committee on economic statistics, tells Indivjal Dhasmana about the whole gamut of tasks that the panel will be looking at. Edited excerpts:

There are groups and sub-groups looking into various kinds of official data. Will your panel be making these data talk to each other?

No, it is not like this. There are many standing committees on various official data. All those have been merged into a single standing committee. The committee will look at gaps, overlaps, difference in standards, and definitions among these data sets. We are supposed to iron out these areas.

Do you think the government will accept your panel’s recommendations?

Our job is not to give recommendations. This is a standing committee. The National Statistical Commission (NSC) is the regulator, we are a committee. NSC sets the standards. Our committee will look at how these standards will be operationalised. The NSC’s job is to audit data and to see which standards are needed for that.

There are many issues in the job data, even in the periodic labour force survey (PLFS). How would you rectify those?

There is no issue in PLFS, at least for now. We will see if some issues crop up as we go along.

And what about unorganised manufacturing?

Currently, the surveys related to unorganised manufacturing come in a gap of five to ten years. If these could be converted into yearly surveys, we will be on stronger footing.

There are many issues in the services sector. How would you go about addressing those?

The data on services are very poor. The standing committee will look at that.

By when will your panel submit its ideas?

Ours is a standing committee. We will decide the plan in consultation with NSO.

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