Parliamentary Panel Raises Question Over Delayed Economic Census Results

Parliamentary Panel Raises Question Over Delayed Economic Census Results

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A parliamentary panel questioned the ministry over delayed economic census results. The Standing Committee on Finance questioned the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI) about the delay in the release of the census results. In a report tabled on Thursday, the committee pointed out that only 13 states and union territories have approved the provisional results so far.

According to a report by The Indian Express, the committee stated that the MoSPI’s response about the seventh economic census “falls short in providing a proactive approach” to address the delays. 

Launched in 2019, the seventh economic census was completed in March 2021. The committee further added, “Moreover, the response highlights that as of April 30, 2023 only 13 states/UTs have communicated their approval on the 7th Economic Census provisional results indicating lack of progress in obtaining approvals from the State Level Coordination Committees. The response of the government also does not provide clear information on how it plans to implement these recommendations.”

The committee noted that the panel should be informed of any statistical capacity constraints being faced by the states in terms of providing data. It also asked the ministry to “accelerate data collection, foster close collaboration with states and ensure timely approval of the provisional results by the state-level coordination committees.”

In response, the ministry said that data collection and supervision for the census were severely affected by the pandemic-related operational challenges. 

This, however, is not the first time this query has been raised. Earlier this year in March, the panel had raised similar questions to the ministry. 

Economic census gives a sampling framework for enterprise surveys undertaken to provide a comprehensive analysis of all establishments in the country. For the seventh census, the ministry had partnered with CSC e-Governance Services India Limited. This is a special-purpose vehicle under the Ministry of Electronics and Information, the report said.

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