NSC seeks detailed analysis of poverty estimates

NSC seeks detailed analysis of poverty estimates

New Delhi: To put at rest the controversy relating to poverty estimates, the National Statistical Commission (NSC) today sought a detailed analysis of consumer expenditure with a view to adopting a firm reference period for collecting data.

“I have requested the officers of NSSO and Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata, to undertake a more detailed analysis of the data already collected ...to understand the impact of abridgment," NSC Chairman Suresh Tendulkar said here while inaugurating a seminar on findings of the NSS 61st Round.

He added that the studies by the NSSO and ISI will throw light on the appropriateness of methodology followed in the national surveys.

Since the poverty estimates released by the Planning Commission determine the eligibility of benefits such as BPL allocation of foodgrain to the states, he said, “a firm choice of reference period is necessary."

Different reference periods (30-day recall period and 365-day recall period) used in the early surveys, he added, had prompted the Planning Commission to come out two with sets of poverty figures.

The use of different reference periods by the NSSO has also generated an intense debate in the academic circles and controversy about estimating poverty.

NSC chairman also underlined the need for improving survey methodology to make the NSS data more useful for users.

There is a need for periodical interactions among survey data users and its producers as the expertise in using the data is limited to only few research departments and individuals, he added.