10.1.1 The chapter on Financial and External Sector Statistics discusses, statistical issues pertaining to the Monetary and Financial Sector, Insurance Sector, Capital Market, Government Securities Market, Money Market, Fiscal Statistics, Balance of Payments, External Debt and Foreign Exchange Reserves and E-commerce. The focus here has been to assess the current status, identify the deficiencies in the present system and recommend measures to improve the statistical system. To specially focus on newly-emerging or relatively uncovered areas, Committees were set up on statistical issues relating to: (a) International Trade in Services, (b) E-commerce and its regulatory mechanism, (c) Insurance Sector Statistics, (d) Informal Financial Sector Statistics, and (e) Fiscal Sector Statistics. The Reports submitted by the Committees have provided valuable material for the Commission.
10.1.2 The statistics relating to the Financial Sector provide information on monetary aggregates and data relating to the functioning of various financial markets and financial institutions. The Balance of Payments (BoP) statistics, an important and significant part of External Sector Statistics covering both current and capital account transactions, follow the requirements of the national accounts very closely, by separately identifying the goods, services, income, and current transfers as principal components of the current account. Besides, the data on External Sector Statistics include external debt and foreign exchange reserves.
10.1.3 The rapid spread of Information Technology in the Financial Sector has offered new avenues for improving the system of collection and dissemination of data. The initiatives taken by the concerned institutions to modernise the management of information systems is expected to facilitate the collection and dissemination of data on market operations almost on-line.
10.1.4 The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) is the main agency for collection and dissemination of statistics in respect of the Financial and External Sector. It has an elaborate mechanism to collect, compile and disseminate these data. Most of the data are released through its website. Current data dissemination of RBI encompasses not only traditional publications such as the Annual Report, Report on Currency and Finance, Report on Trend and Progress of Banking in India, Handbook of Statistics on Indian Economy, Monthly Bulletin and the Weekly Statistical Supplement to the Bulletin, but also high frequency data and information on financial markets on a daily basis through the website and Press Releases. In addition, there are a number of ad hoc surveys, the results of which are published in the RBI Bulletin. RBI also sets up committees from time to time to look into concepts and definitions and other aspects of collection and dissemination of data. The reports of these committees are a rich source of information for many of the important data series. The other institutions which collect, compile and disseminate data are the Securities and Exchange Board of India (primary market, secondary market, foreign institutional investors, mutual funds), National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (regional rural banks and co-operative banks), Industrial Development Bank of India (Financial Institutions, State Financial Corporations, State Industrial Development Corporations, etc.), stock exchanges (indices of trading stocks/equities/bonds), authorised dealers (international trade and investment) and Government (international trade, external debt, guarantees).
10.1.5 The approach adopted in this chapter is as follows. The current practices followed in the compilation of data are examined to identify their deficiencies in terms of timeliness, reliability and adequacy. Recommendations have been made to address these deficiencies and thereby improve the system. The discussion is organised in sections on the following:– Monetary and Financial Statistics, Insurance Sector Statistics, Statistics on Indian Capital Market, Statistics on Government Securities Market, Statistics on Money Market, Fiscal Statistics, Balance of Payments Statistics, External Debt Statistics, Statistics on Foreign Exchange Reserves and E-commerce and its regulatory mechanism.