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In the wake of resignation by the two Members of the National Statistical Commission, reports from a section of media have suggested that the Members had expressed certain concerns on the functioning of the Commission including release of the labour force survey results and the Back Series of GDP. These concerns were not expressed by the Members in any of the meetings of the Commission in the last few months. The Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation not only places a high regard for the Commission but also values its advice and on which appropriate action is taken.

There have also been certain concerns raised in the media regarding the labour force survey being conducted by the Ministry through the National Sample Survey Office (NSSO). The Periodic Labour Force Survey (PLFS) has been designed to yield annual estimates of the labour force on employment and unemployment along with quarterly estimates for the urban areas. NSSO is processing the quarterly data for the period July 2017 to December 2018 and the report will be released thereafter. Keeping in view India’s strong demographic dividend and around 93% of the informal workforce, it is important to improve measures of employment through administrative statistics and complemented by periodic surveys.In this direction, the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation has started bringing out estimates of new subscribers/members enrolling in large social security schemes like the Employees’Provident Fund (EPF), Employees’ State Insurance (ESI) Scheme and the National Pension Scheme (NPS). The new members enrolling in these schemes are a good measure about the numbers in the workforce moving towards formalisation.

In so far as the Back Series of the GDP is concerned, the National Statistical Commission had itself urged the Ministry to finalise and release it. The official estimates of the Back Series of GDP were accordingly computed using the methodology adopted in the 2011-12 Base Year series and this was approved by the experts in the Advisory Committee on National Accounts Statistics, which is the appropriate body. This was later discussed in the National Statistical Commission. Moreover, the methodology adopted by the Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation for the Back Series is available in the public domain.

The National Statistical Commission provides valuable guidance and strategic direction to the statistical activities in the central and state governments. This Ministry of Statistics and Program Implementation is in regular dialogue with the other Ministries and State Governments to improve the availability and coverage of data which needs to be understood in the context in which it is captured.

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