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Parliament proceedings | Government admits shortcomings in data collection

Rao Inderjit Singh. File photo: V. Sudershan

Rao Inderjit Singh. File photo: V. Sudershan  

“It is a continuous process... We are trying to upgrade,” Minister tells Lok Sabha

The Union government on Wednesday admitted that there are ‘shortcomings’ in collection of data and welcomed suggestions to improve it.

The Minister was responding to concerns expressed by Congress member Shashi Tharoor in the Lok Sabha during Question Hour.

“The government is aware of the shortcomings in data collection centres. It is a continuous process. We are trying to upgrade it. We are aware of it and would be happy to have any inputs that the Honorable Member might want to give on this,” Rao Inderjit Singh, Minister of State for Programme Implementation, told the House .

“But this is a decision that the government will have to take on its own after taking inputs from all those concerned, whether they are international or domestic entities,” he added.

Asking a supplementary question, Mr. Tharoor said the country was facing a statistical crisis as government data was being constantly revised.

“The fact is that we are facing a crisis in terms of statistical credibility worldwide. There is a constant revision of numbers by the government. We have seen, for example, its own Chief Economic Advisor questioning the revision of GDP growth from 6.7 per cent to 8.2 per cent. We have seen extremely great embarrassment when they revised GDP calculations based on a data bank of corporations, of which 36 per cent were non-existent or wrongly classified,” said Mr. Tharoor.

“We have seen the National Consumer Survey, Sir, being discredited and withdrawn even though numbers are being leaked all over the country. Those of us who are Lok Sabha MPs know from our constituents the financial difficulties they are going through,” the Congress MP said, referring to the National Statistical Organisation’s consumer expenditure survey that showed that consumer spending was falling for the first time in over four decades.

Rural connectivity

Union Minister of State for Electronics and Information Technology Sanjay Dhotre had a tough time when Lok Sabha members, including party colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy and Dushyant Singh, asked him why, despite tall claims about rural connectivity under Bharat.net, end users didn’t benefit. Mr. Rudy pointed out that though ₹40,000 crores was being spent on the rural connectivity project, only a little over 2 per cent gram panchayats in Bihar were connected while the number for Karnataka was as high as 84 per cent.

A record in LS

Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla congratulated the members as the Lower House set a record of 20 questions being taken during the Question Hour.

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Printable version | Feb 22, 2020 1:54:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/parliament-proceedings-govt-admits-shortcomings-in-data-collection/article30099884.ece

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