Kathmandu, September 7
The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) today launched Kathmandu Declaration in a bid to enhance effectiveness and consolidate the position of the apex body that collects, processes, analyses, publishes and disseminates statistics in the country.
Although the 18-point declaration made public by CBS Director General Bikash Bista has not extended clear-cut deadlines for achievement of each target, successful implementation of the manifesto is expected to turn CBS into a powerful body and pave the way for it to take a lead in all matters related to statistics.
“The decision taken by the CBS to come up with a declaration is a welcome initiative. We hope the changes proposed through the declaration would empower CBS,” Swarnim Wagle, member of the National Planning Commission, the parent body of the CBS, told a
gathering held to publicise the declaration.
One of the highlights of the declaration is formulation of National Strategy for the Development of Statistics within
The CBS has long been calling for formulation of such a strategy to standardise data collection and production methods.
Currently, various ministries, government bodies and non-governmental organisations in the country are collecting data using their own methodologies and are interpreting statistics in their own ways. This has not only led to duplication of works but created inconsistencies in statistical information dissemination, raising question mark on quality of statistics churned out by the country.
“The practice of generating statistics in an unsystematic manner should end, and the CBS should emerge as the custodian of legitimate national statistics,” Wagle said.
The declaration has also called for introduction of new Statistics Act, citing many of the provisions in the existing law framed over five-and-a-half decades ago have lost relevance due to technological innovations and changes that have taken place in political, social and economic sectors.
Also, there needs to be coherence between the Statistics Act and other Acts, such as Local Self Governance Act and Nepal Rastra Bank Act, that allow various bodies to collect, process and analyse statistics, says the declaration.
The declaration has also sought change in existing practice of deputing a joint secretary-level government official to lead the CBS and recommended appointment of secretary-level government official to steer the Bureau. It has also suggested that the government allocate a certain portion of annual budget for statistics and information sector and called for completion of organisation and management survey of CBS within next three months.
A version of this article appears in print on September 08, 2015 of The Himalayan Times.