Panagariya panel could suggest using GSTN for job data

A task force set up by the Prime Minister to improve India’s data on jobs is set to suggest scrapping traditional employment-unemployment surveys with a periodic labour force survey every year.

india Updated: Jul 05, 2017 11:05 IST
Jatin Gandhi
Jatin Gandhi
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Arvind Panagariya,NITI Aayog,GSTN
The Arvind Panagariya panel is likely to suggest brand new approach to improve data on the country’s jobs.(HT PHOTO)

Using data from the Goods and Services Tax Network (GSTN) for carrying out employment surveys and increasing the frequency of the economic census from once in every five years to three are expected to be some of the key recommendations of a task force constituted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi two months ago to improve India’s data on jobs.

There are an estimated 80 lakh indirect tax payers who are expected to register on the GSTN. The task force will likely recommend using them as a sample size for annual enterprise surveys, informed sources said.

The task force, headed by NITI Aayog vice chairman Arvind Panagariya is in the final stages of preparing its report on employment data in the country which it will submit to the PMO later this month, sources said.

It was set up to assess the existing mechanism for data collection on the job sector and unemployment in India and come up with reliable alternatives that would provide the information needed by the government to work on its promise of job creation.

The Modi government has frequently been attacked by the opposing for pushing “jobless growth.” Last week, Panagariya defended the charge against the government at a function in Mumbai. “The whole point we continuously make about the jobless growth is a little bit bogus. There is some substance to it, but a little bit bogus,” he had said on June 29 while speaking at the Reserve Bank of India headquarters.

Read more: Claims of jobless growth are bit bogus, cannot be logically correct: Panagariya

Now, the task force he heads is set to suggest scrapping of the five-year employment-unemployment surveys which are carried out by the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO) and replacing them with a periodic labour force survey every year. The urban module of the survey should be updated on a quarterly basis, the task force is learnt to have agreed upon. The surveys will provide authentic data on availability of labour force and industry specific jobs, as also the unemployment data.

Other members of the task force include labour secretary M. Sathiyavathy, statistics secretary T.C.A. Ananth, Pulak Ghosh of NITI Aayog and RBI board member Manish Sabharwal. The Task Force was directed to “recommend solutions which can be implemented in a time bound manner.”

First Published: Jul 05, 2017 11:05 IST