Reflecting growing gap between Narendra Modi government and independent experts working with areas agencies of the government, today two independent members of the National Statistical Commission (NSC) P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi, have resigned over disagreement with the government on certain issues.
The tenure of Mohanan, the acting chairperson of the autonomous body, and his colleague Meenakshi was to end in June 2020. They joined as members in June 2017. Mohanan said that he has resigned as they thought the commission is not very effective now a days and they are unable to discharge the commission’s responsibility.
The NSC, under the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MoSPI), is to have seven members, as per its website. Already, three posts were vacant. These two members are said to have resigned over disagreement with the government on some issues. They hare reportedly resigned protesting against the withholding of the National Sample Survey Organisaiton’s first Annual Survey on Employmente and Unemployment for the year 2917-18, which contains data on job losses in the wake of demonetization.
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. However, the report has not been made public for almost two months. Mohanan also deplored that in recent times the government does not take the NSC seriously. NSC was kept out while key decisions were taken.
Former finance minister P Chidambaram targeted the government over the resignation by the two NSC officials. “May the NSC rest in peace until it is re-born again! We mourn the death of the National Statistical Commission and remember with gratitude its valiant fight to release untainted GDP data and employment data. One more venerable institution died on 29 January 2019 owing to malicious negligence by the government,” he tweeted.