The government will soon come out with a National Policy on Official Statistics to bring the Indian system in line with the fundamental principles for official statistics adopted by the United Nations in 2014, Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister Sadananda Gowda said on Monday.
The new policy will help enhance people’s faith official data and prevent the kind of recent controversies over the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) figures and other data, Gowda said. “My Ministry is now preparing” the policy on the lines of UN principles adopted by India in 2016, Gowda said while addressing an international conference organised here by the Ministry.
“A transparent, efficient statistics system that works with clarity is essential for democratic governance and achieving development goals,” he said. The Ministry has already circulated the draft policy for eliciting views. The proposed policy would take into account the Indian context of decentralised statistical system.
Speaking to reporters on the sidelines, the Minister said that adopting such a national policy would help end disputes over methodologies adopted for calculation. The government last week declared its intention to change the base years for calculation of GDP and retail inflation to 2017-18 and 2018 respectively and enforce it from fiscal 2019-20.
The current base year revision for GDP, the index of industrial production (IIP) and the consumer price index (CPI), or retail inflation is 2011-12 and 2012. Gowda also said the government will issue a statistical report on labour, including data on the country’s unorganised sector, by the end of 2018. A new Chief Statistician, following the retirement of T.C.A. Anant, is likely to be announced by the end of July, he added.