Tardy govt has no time for statistical pursuits

Kathmandu, January 11:

There have been problems galore to standardise and authenticate statistics since government has failed to implement the recommendations of Consolidated National Statistical Plan (CNSP), which was prepared by the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) a good eight years ago.

As of now, the CBS and various ministries and departments collect data and use different methodologies to infer results. Consequently, lack of mechanism to coordinate their activities is leading to a lot of confusion. “There is a high chance of duplication or overlapping of data collection. This has eroded our credibility,” said Tulasi Paudel, chairman, Nepal Government Employee Union of the CBS.

The 10th five-year plan, whose term expired a year back, had stated that the government would implement the CNSP report.

The National Planning Commission (NPC) had formed a high-level task force, headed by Pushpa Raj Rajkarnikar, last year. But despite its recommendation to implement the CNSP at the earliest, the government is still sitting on it.

“To make matters worse, the government till date has Financial Planning Group (FPG), which is supposed to handle the statistical activities of the state organs, a functional unit. Though the Administration Service Group (ASG) is now looking after this, its employees lack professionalism,” said Paudel. Frustrated CSB employees had submitted a memorandum to the Ministry of General Administration on November 9 to resolve the problems.

“The ministry has written to the Administrative Restructuring Commission (ARC), seeking the latter’s permission to get things moving. Also, suggestions have been sought from as many as 15 ministries and 14 departments,” said Chandra Ghimire, spokesperson, Ministry of General Administration.

Ishwori Bhandari, who works as a statistical officer at the CSB, felt that there was dire need to restructure the organisation to make it an effective nodal statistical agency.