New Delhi: Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission, P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi, have resigned over disagreement with the government on certain issues.
Mohanan was also the acting chairperson. With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members — Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
"I have resigned from NSC. We thought that the commission is not very effective now a days and we also thought that we are not able to discharge the commission's responsibility," Mohanan told PTI.
The Indian Express reported that the two quit in protest against the withholding of the NSSO's (National Sample Survey Organisation) first Annual Survey on Employment and Unemployment for the year 2017-18. This report, the first by NSSO in this government, was expected to reflect job losses in the wake of demonetisation, it stated.
Both members tendered their resignation on January 28, 2019, an official said. 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.
The newspaper report quoted Mohanan as saying: "The normal convention is that NSSO presents the findings to the Commission, and once approved, the report is released within the next few days. We approved the NSSO survey on employment/unemployment in December beginning. But the report has not been made public for almost two months."
"Over a period, it was noticed the government does not take the NSC seriously," Mohanan added. "NSC was kept out while key decisions were taken. We were unable to effectively discharge our duties."
The tenure of Mohanan and Meenakshi was to end in June 2020. They joined as members in June 2017.
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.