Two members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC), P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi, on Monday quit the organisation citing a lack of involvement in key decisions such as the recently-released gross domestic product (GDP) back series, launch of the new economic census and delay in publishing the employment-unemployment report for 2016-17 despite its approval.
NSC is an autonomous body constituted in 2006 and tasked to monitor and review the functioning of the country’s statistical systems. Three years ago, it was snubbed by the Niti Aayog over finalisation of GDP back series data.
P C Mohanan, who was serving as chairman of NSC and J V Meenakshi, Professor at the Delhi School of Economics, were appointed by the government as members in the NSC in June 2017.
"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.
Both members tendered their resignation on January 28, 2019, an official said.
With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members -- Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.
"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," Indian Express quoted Mohanan as saying.
"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.