Pranab for stable flow of statistics

New Delhi: A day after Reserve Bank Governor D. Subbarao’s raised questions over reliability of government data, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said there is a need for stable flow of statistical data.

“We shall have to make stable flow of these data from different sources,” Mr. Mukherjee said when asked for his reaction on Mr. Subbarao’s observation that the RBI was handicapped as questions have been raised regarding quality of the government data.

Addressing a conference on statistics, Mr. Subbarao said on Tuesday, “In RBI, we are handicapped by the reliability of some of the basic data that we need to use in policy calculations. In particular, the data we get on unemployment and wages do not inspire confidence as regards quality“.

Principal Advisor in the Planning Commission and former Chief Statistician of India Pronab Sen did not share RBI’s views.

“I don’t have any doubt about reliability of data.

However, there is always scope for improvement. We can put in more resources and there can be improvements“.

However, he conceded there could be certain issues regarding the quality when the data is collected through voluntary submission. “I do not think much can be done,” he said.

Chief Statistician T C A Anant talked about delays arising because of different reasons.

“It is not possible for all information to be collected at the same time. Data gathering is about people going out to the field. Until we can strengthen data collection system, there will always be delays,” he said.

Minister for Statistics and Programme Implementation M S Gill had last week said that his department is facing a talent crunch due to lack of incentives.

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