Pronab Sen likely to head National Statistical Commission

Last Updated: Tue, Feb 12, 2013 20:41 hrs

Former chief statistician Pronab Sen is tipped to be chairman of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) in place of R Radhakrishna.

Those in the know said Sen had been intimated about his new job. When contacted, Sen declined to comment.

The current chairman, Radhakrishna, was appointed chairman in July 2009 and is not keeping well.

The development assumes importance following a recent controversy over estimation of India's gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2012-13 by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

As the CSO drew flak from many a quarter in the government for estimating GDP growth in a linear fashion without factoring in the growth momentum in the economy after November-December, Sen's new job becomes all the more relevant. The NSC's functions include identifying core statistics, evolve standard statistical concepts, definitions, etc.

The role of NSC is also to evolve measures for improving public trust in official statistics.

The commission can ask for production of any document which will help it serve statistical purposes.

NSC was set up following recommendations of the C Rangarajan committee, constituted to review the statistical commission.

India’s chief statistician is the commission’s secretary. T C A Anant holds this post now.

Sen was the chief statistician from February 2007 to June 2010 and as such, also secretary to the commission.

In advance estimates, the CSO estimated the GDP growth to be a decade low of five per cent for 2012-13.

However, the finance ministry said the CSO probably underestimated growth and when the actual data comes, the economic expansion would be 5.5 per cent or higher for 2012-13.

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