STATE PLANNING Board Vice Chairman Sompal Shastri stressed the need for collection of statistical figures through scientific methods and bringing uniformity in the exercise.
Addressing the inaugural session of the five-day ‘Central-Eastern Region Training-cum-Workshop on State & District Income & Related Aggregates’ at the Academy of Administration here on Monday, he pointed out that three factors – 60 per cent of the working population, impact of technology on economy and information revolution in India had drawn global attention and its effect could well be seen in socio-economic sector.
The vice chairman said as the State economy and social statistics were complementary to each other, there was a need for adopting scientific and uniform methods in collecting the statistical data. “Several statistical data available with us are often found to be dubious and hence there is strong need to change the method of collection of data,” Shastri said.
Saying that statistical data was important for economic and social development, he said in India outdated British period methods of data collection continued to thrive, instead of new scientific methods, which in turns often questions the authenticity.
Citing an example that there were differences in facts about forest area given in the revenue records and the global satellite report, Shastri said the area under agriculture had been shown as constantly decreasing in the world, which is not true. “The figures of industry and service sectors are true but the agriculture area has always been over 45 per cent and there has never been a decrease in it,” he pointed out.
He called for deep thinking on lack of positive result in proportion to the heavy expenditures in employment, agriculture, forest and health sectors during the 10th Five Year Plan.
Stating it to be the first occasion in Madhya Pradesh that an in-depth discussion was being held on the methods of statistical data about the state and district income, Secretary-Economics, Statistics and Planning, Manoj Jhalani said the outcome of the workshop would help in bringing uniformity in methods and facilitate in introducing new methods.
During the technical session of the workshop, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (GoI), Ramesh Kolli reviewed the ‘Status of compilation of new series estimates’ and ‘Advance & Quarterly estimates of SDP’. Estimate of GSDP (gross state domestic product) of public administration at current prices was also discussed.
Later, speaking to the Hindustan Times, Kolli said due to change of base year from 1993-94 to 1999-2000, data needed to be updated and the workshop aimed at facilitating in gathering data towards preparation of human development report (HDR) of the States as well as of districts.
He said focus had been laid on a list of 40-50 indicators towards preparation of district HDR, which would be finalised within a year or two.
The workshop sponsored by the Planning Commission and the United Nations Development Programme was attended by representatives of Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Bihar, Jharkhand, West Bengal, Orissa, and Madhya Pradesh. Joint director and director of Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Dr OP Pathak and DP Ahirwar respectively and other officials were also present.