LIVE TV DownloadNews18 App
News18 English
»
2-min read

108 Economists From Around the World Object to 'Political Interference' in Statistics in India, Cite GDP and Job Data

The 108 experts, from across the globe, further said that in fact, any statistics that cast an iota of doubt on the achievement of the government seem to get revised or suppressed on the basis of some questionable methodology.

PTI

Updated:March 14, 2019, 11:59 PM IST
facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
108 Economists From Around the World Object to 'Political Interference' in Statistics in India, Cite GDP and Job Data
Some news reports based on leaks of the NSSO report showed an unprecedented rise in unemployment rates in 2017-18. (News18 creative by Mir Suhail)
Loading...
New Delhi: Expressing concerns over "political interference" in influencing statistical data in India, as many as 108 economists and social scientists Thursday called for restoration of "institutional independence" and integrity to the statistical organisations.

Their joint statement comes in the backdrop of controversy over revision of gross domestic product (GDP) numbers and withholding employment data by the NSSO.

They said that for decades, India's statistical machinery enjoyed a high-level of reputation for the integrity of the data it produced on a range of economic and social parameters.

"It (statistical machinery) was often criticised for the quality of its estimates, but never were allegations made of political interference influencing decisions and the estimates themselves," they said in an appeal.

They have appealed to all professional economists, statisticians and independent researchers to come together to raise their voice against the tendency "to suppress uncomfortable data" and impress upon the government to restore access and integrity to public statistics and re-establish institutional independence.

The signatories include Rakesh Basant (IIM-A), James Boyce (University of Massachusetts at Amherst, US), Emily Breza (Harvard University, US), Satish Deshpande (Delhi University), Patrick Francois (University of British Columbia, Canada), R Ramakumar (TISS, Mumbai), Hema Swaminathan (IIM-B) and Rohit Azad (JNU).

The economists and social scientists said it is imperative that the agencies associated with collection and dissemination of statistics like the Central Statistics Office (CSO) and the National Sample Survey Organisation (NSSO) are not subject to political interference and their work, therefore, enjoys total credibility.

"Lately, the Indian statistics and the institutions associated with it have, however, come under a cloud for being influenced and indeed even controlled by political considerations," the statement said.

Citing an instance wherein the CSO revised upward GDP growth estimates for 2016-17 (the year of demonetisation) by 1.1 percentage points to 8.2 per cent, the highest in a decade, they said: "This seems to be at variance with the evidence marshalled by many economists".

The statement also expressed concern over withholding of Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) of NSSO and news reports that the PLFS of 2017-18 will be scrapped altogether by the government.

Two members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), including the acting chairman, subsequently resigned because they felt the NSSO was delaying the release of the report, though the NSC itself had officially cleared it, they added.

The 108 experts, from across the globe, further said that in fact, any statistics that cast an iota of doubt on the achievement of the government seem to get revised or suppressed on the basis of some questionable methodology.

"This is the time for all professional economists, statisticians, independent researchers in policy regardless of their political and ideological leanings to come together to raise their voice against the tendency to suppress uncomfortable data..." they said.

The experts also called for impressing upon the government authorities, current and future, and at all levels, to restore access and integrity to public statistics, and re-establish institutional independence and integrity to the statistical organisations.

The reputation of India's statistical bodies in the country and globally is at stake, they added.
Read full article
Loading...
Next Story
Next Story

Also Watch

facebookTwittergoogleskypewhatsapp
Most Active
Company Price Change %Gain
Reliance 1,376.55 1.96
SBI 303.05 1.37
PNB 90.50 4.44
HDFC Bank 2,267.75 0.28
Axis Bank 760.90 1.24
Company Price Change %Gain
Bharti Infratel 326.90 2.83
Torrent Power 263.00 0.82
Eicher Motors 21,750.55 -2.34
Reliance 1,375.25 2.05
Axis Bank 761.00 1.20
Top Gainers
Company Price Change %Gain
Bharti Infratel 327.60 2.99
HCL Tech 1,036.20 2.39
NTPC 134.90 1.97
Reliance 1,376.55 1.96
ITC 299.45 1.94
Company Price Change %Gain
ITC 299.40 2.45
NTPC 135.10 2.19
HCL Tech 1,034.60 2.18
Reliance 1,375.25 2.05
Bharti Airtel 336.65 1.81
Top Losers
Company Price Change %Gain
Eicher Motors 21,759.10 -2.21
JSW Steel 288.50 -2.19
Hero Motocorp 2,614.05 -2.08
Larsen 1,357.95 -1.52
Maruti Suzuki 6,825.20 -1.21
Company Price Change %Gain
Hero Motocorp 2,615.40 -2.10
Larsen 1,356.75 -1.60
Maruti Suzuki 6,832.55 -1.13
Bajaj Auto 2,980.25 -0.80
Coal India 243.10 -0.47

Live TV

Loading...
Countdown To Elections Results
  • 01 d
  • 12 h
  • 38 m
  • 09 s
To Assembly Elections 2018 Results