New Delhi, Sep 9 (UNI) Union Statistics and Programme Implementation Minister G K Vasan today said the Centre was considerng a proposal to strengthen the data collection mechanism in the country through a Rs 705-crore Centrally sponsored scheme for the States Statistical system during the Eleventh Plan.
Addressing the national conference of state level ministers in-charge of Statistics here, he said the Centre's initiative, aimed at "giving needed stability and credibility" to the system, would bear fruit only if similar steps were taken by the states.
Pointing out that in the decentralised statistical system, national statistics in many cases were derived from state level, the minister said the states needed to have a separate department of statistics and also a strong statistical machinery at local levels so as to match international levels.
Mr Vasan appealed to the state governments to consider setting up a Statistical Commission to oversee their systems and assist the National Commission in realising common objectives.
He recalled that to strengthen data collection in the country, the Union Government had introduced the collection of Statistics Bill, 2007 to replace the collection of statistics at 1953 to significantly facilitate data collection at all levels of the government.
Prof Suresh Tendulkar, Chairman National Statistical Commission, said the official statistics provided crucial indicators of the functioning of the society and the economy and hence acted as an important instrument of good governance in a democratic society.
"However, persistence of data gaps is a drag on the formulation of appropriate policies. The country needs a statistical system that is commensurate with the needs of vibrant democratic society and the fast growing economy in the 21st century," he added. The conference will deliberate on issues related to strengthening of the statistical system which includes imparting independence and impartiality to official statistics, improving horizontal and vertical coordination of statistical activities across departments, institutional strengthening of State Statistical System and development of local panchayat raj level statistics and its integration with the State Statistical System for local level development.
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