NEW DELHI: Claiming that the National Statistical Commission (NSC) is the final authority of the NSSO report, former chief of the panel PC Mohanan, said that the NITI Aayog should not have gotten involved in the whole episode.
Mohanan resigned as the chairman of the NSC after claiming that the government was withholding the job data report. He also dismissed NITI Aayog’s claim that the report was in draft stage calling it unacceptable. He also said that he had flagged the delay in the release of the report but got no response from the government.
“Once the report is approved by the commission, it is known as the final report. You cannot say it has to be approved by the government. You accept it or reject it. But the government cannot approve the statistics. It raises certain questions of credibility,” he said.
Mohanan said that the NITI Aayog getting involved was not a desirable thing. “Previous chairmen of the commission have also said that the NITI Aayog cannot be in the picture of releasing the official statistics. They are the users of the data and cannot get involved,” he said and added that it was important that the autonomy of the panel was maintained.
The former statistics panel chief said that the last straw which forced him to step down was the government’s unwillingness to release the report. “Over the years, we have seen recommendations of the commission are not taken seriously. In the 2017-18 report, we clearly mentioned that we are pained that the government is not taking seriously the recommendations of the commission,” he said.
He also trashed NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar’s claims that he had quit due to personal reasons. “In my letter, I made it clear I have specific instances and we thought our continuing in the commission was not serving any purpose because the panel was not very effective and there is nothing personal in that. The government should take note of the issues and improve the system. Meenakshi, who resigned along with me, also said the same thing,” he said.