New Delhi: Stung by the recent resignation of two independent members over their alleged difference with the Centre over new GDP back series and employment-unemployment data, Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) on Wednesday said that all was well at the National Statistical Commission (NSC).
In a clarification issued on Wednesday, MoSPI denied that two members—PC Mohanan, who was serving as NSC chairman and Prof JV Meenakshi—had expressed any concerns over the organisation’s functioning.
“These concerns were not expressed by the members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months,” said MoSPI in the official statement, adding “the ministry not only places a high regard for the Commission, but also values its advice and on which appropriate action is taken.”
P C Mohanan and Delhi School of Economics (DSE) Professor JV Meenakshi had sent their resignation letters to the MoSPI on Monday, citing the lack of their involvement in key decisions such as recently released GDP back series, launch of the new Economic Census and delay in publishing the employment-unemployment report for 2016-17 despite its approval.
The ministry, however, said that the Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) has been designed to yield annual estimates of the labour force on employment and unemployment along with quarterly estimates for the urban areas. The National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) is processing the quarterly data for the period July 2017 to December 2018 and the report will be released, said the ministry.
“Keeping in view India’s strong demographic dividend and around 93 per cent of the informal workforce, it is important to improve measures of employment through administrative statistics and complemented by periodic surveys,” added MoSPI in the statement.
The MoSPI said to have “started thus bringing out estimates of new subscribers/members enrolling in large social security schemes like the Employees’ Provident Fund (EPF), Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS).”
“The new members enrolling in these schemes are a good measure about the numbers in the workforce moving towards formalization,” said the ministry.
“As far as the back series of GDP is concerned, the NSC itself had urged the ministry to finalise and release it. The official estimates of the back series of GDP were accordingly computed using the methodology adopted in the 2011-12 base year series,” said MoSPI.
“This was approved by the experts in the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics, which is the appropriate body. This was later discussed in the NSC. Moreover, the methodology adopted by the MoSPI for the back series is available in the public domain,” added ministry in the statement.