New factory index to be out soon

New factory index to be out soon
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First Published: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 10 37 PM IST

Growth report: India’s chief statistician Pronab Sen. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Growth report: India’s chief statistician Pronab Sen. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
Updated: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 10 37 PM IST
New Delhi: India’s delayed new Index of Industrial Production (IIP) —which would have an updated and expanded basket of items and would use 2004-05 as the base year—will be released “pretty soon”, Pronab Sen, India’s chief statistician and secretary at the ministry of statistics and programme implementation, said on Tuesday.
Growth report: India’s chief statistician Pronab Sen. Ramesh Pathania / Mint
The department of industrial policy and promotion (DIPP), the largest data source for the IIP, has submitted the figures required for the new series to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO), which publishes the factory output index every month.
“There are minor glitches in the data sent by DIPP, which we are sorting out,” Sen said.
IIP is a key economic indicator that reflects the health of the country’s industrial sector, which accounts for around 20% of the gross domestic product.
The current index with the base year of 1993-94 is widely considered to be outdated and unrepresentative of the factory production pattern because it includes many products that have outlived their relevance, such as typewriters, and does not include items whose importance have grown in recent years, such as microwave ovens and mobile phones.
The new series was initially planned to have 1999-2000 as its base year, which was shifted forward by five years because of delays.
DIPP roped in the Centre for Monitoring Indian Economy, an economy and corporate tracker, in November 2008 to collect relevant data.
Besides DIPP, 15 agencies, including Indian Bureau of Mines, development commissioner (small-scale sector), Central Electricity Authority and the Indian Railways collect data and submit it to CSO.
DIPP is the largest source agency and provides data for 209 of the 543 items in the current IIP basket. In the new series, which is expected to include around 700 items, DIPP will provide data for around 300 items.
The index covers manufacturing, mining, quarrying and electricity.
Sen said one of the issues with the data the department has provided involved drug makers.
“The pharmaceutical sector is under-represented,” he said. “As it is a sunrise sector, we cannot afford to have less representation of this sector in the new IIP series,” he added.
A DIPP official, on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to speak on the matter, said the department was in discussions with CSO and hopes to soon resolve pending issues.
IIP showed industrial growth plummeting to a 10-year low of 1.3% in August 2008 and prompted the then finance minister P. Chidambaram to question its reliability.
asit.m@livemint.com
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First Published: Tue, Dec 22 2009. 10 37 PM IST