New Delhi, Apr 24 - Expressing concern over error in industrial production and exports data, a Parliamentary committee today pitched for independent inquiry saying the flaw in reporting of important economic statistics projects the entire country in a "poor light".
The suggestions of the Standing Committee on Finance come in the wake of sharp revision of Index of Industrial Production (IIP) data for January and problems in compilation of trade figures in April-October 2011.
"The Committee are seriously concerned at this (data reporting) flaw which projects not only the government but the entire country in a poor light," said the report which was tabled in Parliament. The committee is headed by former Finance Minister and senior BJP leader Yashwant Sinha.
The Committee, it said, "would like an independent inquiry to be conducted in data errors of such magnitude and the report made available to the Committee within three months."
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) revised the IIP data for January 2012 from 6.8 per cent to 1.1 per cent. "This (sharp data revision) raises serious questions about the reliability of the data offered by the Ministry", it added.
Even Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had described the sharp revision in IIP as "totally baffling" and asked the concerned authorities to look into the matter.
In case of trade data, the Commerce Ministry had reduced April-October 2011-12 export by USD 8.8 billion to USD 171 billion from USD 179.8 billion reported earlier. The Ministry cited human and computer error for overstatement of data.
Pointing out that the government had taken steps to improve collection of vital economic statistics, the Committee said, there is much scope for improvement in the process of collection of economic data. PTI