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Two NSC Members Resign As Modi Govt Refuses to Release Post-Demonetisation Jobs Data

Former NSC chairman Radha Binod Barman said, “Independence of the NSC should be maintained. It is supposed to be impartial.” 

New Delhi: Two independent members of the National Statistical Commission, P C Mohanan and J V Meenakshi, have resigned over disagreement with the government on certain issues, an official said Tuesday.

Mohanan was also the acting chairperson. With the two members quitting, the NSC now has only two members — Chief Statistician Pravin Srivastava and NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant.

The two are said to have resigned over disagreement with the government on issues such as not being consulted for GDP back-series data and the government’s delay in publishing employment-unemployment survey report for 2016-17, despite the commission’s approval, reported Business Standard.

“I have resigned from NSC. We thought that the commission is not very effective now a days and we also thought that we are not able to discharge the commission’s responsibility,” Mohanan told PTI.

“The report was approved and should have been released immediately, but was not. I thought I should not watch silently what was happening,” Mohanan told Business Standard.

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Both members tendered their resignation on January 28, 2019, an official said.

A report in The Indian Express cited a source in the NSC who said, “The 2017-18 job survey did not present a good picture on the employment front. This is most likely the reason for holding it back.”

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.

The tenure of Mohanan and Meenakshi was to end in June 2020. They joined as members in June 2017.

In November last year, the NITI Aayog had come under fire for announcing the revised GDP data of the UPA years. The data was slammed by many experts as ‘manipulated’.

NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar and Chief Statistician Srivastava had announced the back-series data by the government.

“Independence of the NSC should be maintained. It is supposed to be impartial,”  former NSC chairman Radha Binod Barman told Economic Times.

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(With PTI inputs)

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