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Members Who Quit NSC Never Expressed Concern During Meetings: Govt

The Acting Chairperson of the NSC said that the report was approved in Dec 2018 but had not yet been released.

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India
3 min read
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National Statistical Commission (NSC) Acting Chairperson PC Mohanan resigned from his post on Monday, 28 January, against withholding of the National Sample Survey Organistaion’s (NSSO's) Annual Survey on employment and unemployment for the year 2017-2018, reported The Indian Express.

The report by NSSO will be the first one to be published post demonetisation.

Speaking to the daily, Mohanan said the report was approved by NSC in the beginning of December but had not yet been released. Mohanan had also told PTI, "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".

“The normal convention is that NSSO presents the findings to the Commission, and once approved, the report is released within the next few days.”
PC Mohanan to The Indian Express
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Along with Mohanan, his colleague JV Meenakshi also quit the job. Both Mohanan and Meenakshi were appointed in 2017 and had a three-year term.

Mohanan also added that they had “noticed” that the commission was not taken seriously by the government and was kept out of key decisions.

Members Who Quit NSC Never Expressed Reservations During Meetings: MoSPI

The government, on Wednesday, 30 January said that the members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), who resigned recently, had never expressed their concerns in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months.

The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) in a clarification stated, "these concerns were not expressed by the members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months." The ministry, it further added, values the advice of NSC and takes appropriate action.

Cong Hits out at Govt over Resignation of NSC Members

The Congress on Wednesday, 30 January, accused the Modi government of destroying yet another institution after two members of the National Statistical Commission resigned and said one more venerable institution has “died” due to the government's "malicious negligence".

Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram said the party mourns the death of the National Statistical Commission and will remember its valiant fight to release 'untainted' GDP data and employment data.

His colleague Ahmed Patel said the resignations serve the government's objective to "black out" all data and statistics of its "mis-governance", while party spokesperson Abhishek Singhvi wondered if this has come in the wake of the "very embarrassing" jobs data and whether the NSC was "being forced" by government to do more data doctoring.

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With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members – Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

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

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

The chairman’s post has been lying vacant after the retirement of Radha Bindo Barman in July 2018 and the post of two other members is also vacant.

Speaking to The Indian Express, a source at NSSO added that the 2017-2018 job survey didn’t present a good picture and most likely that is the reason why it is being held back.

NSC is an autonomous body which was formed in 2006 to monitor the country's statistical systems. Earlier, the employment and unemployment survey was conducted once in five years by NSSO, but the NSC decided to shift to annual as well as quarterly survey, according to The Indian Express.

The last survey was released in 2011-2012.

The survey for the period (July 2017-June 2018) would have shown data for both pre and post demonetisation.

(With inputs from The Indian Express and Livemint)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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