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‘Commission not very effective’: Statistics body chief, member quit

Acting chairman PC Mohanan and external member J Meenakshi both had terms lasting until June 20 next year, according to the website of the National Statistical Commission. Mohanan was also an external member. With their departures, the commission now has no external members.

india Updated: Jan 30, 2019 10:46 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
National Statistical Commission,PC Mohanan,J Meenakshi
Acting chairman PC Mohanan and external member J Meenakshi both had terms lasting until June 20 next year, according to the website of the NSC.(PC Mohanan and JV Meenakshi. Photo: Twitter@Nationalstatistical commission)

Upset over the way the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government was perceived to have sidelined them and undermined their authority, the acting chairman and an external member of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) have put in their papers, two officials with knowledge of the development said on condition of anonymity.

Acting chairman PC Mohanan and external member J Meenakshi both had terms lasting until June 20 next year, according to the website of the NSC. Mohanan was also an external member. With their departures, the commission now has no external members.

“I have resigned from NSC. We thought that the commission is not very effective nowadays and we also thought that we are not able to discharge the commission’s responsibility,” Mohanan told PTI.

NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant and chief statistician of India Pravin Srivastava remain as ex-officio member secretary, respectively. The NSC came into existence on July 12, 2006 and has four members besides a chairperson.

According to sources and a report in the news website The Wire, the reasons for the resignations by Mohanan and Meenakshi were differences they had with the government over the publication of last year’s employment survey and over Gross Domestic Product (GDP) data pertaining to the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) — showing that the economy had performed much better under the NDA than it did during the UPA.

In November last year, the NITI Aayog had come under fire for announcing the revised GDP data of the UPA years.

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Chief Statistician Srivastava had announced the back-series data by the government.

The Wire reported that the equation between the government and the two external members dipped further over a delay in releasing NSSO employment survey data for 2017-18. The survey data had been ready and approved by the NSC by December, yet the government did not make it public amid an ongoing political slugfest over the issue of unemployment.

The NSC, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), is to have seven members, as per its website. Already, three posts were vacant.

First Published: Jan 29, 2019 23:49 IST