14.11 Views Of Different Ministries On The Deficiencies Of The Existing Laws
14.11 Views of Different Ministries on the Deficiencies of the Existing Laws
Ministry of Law, Justice & Company Affairs, Department of Company Affairs
“The corporate sector statistics maintained in the Department of Company Affairs is an offshoot of the Administration of the Companies Act, 1956. There is no regular or ad-hoc survey conducted by this Department to collect corporate sector data. However, Section 615 of the Companies Act, 1956 enables the Central Government to direct companies coming within the scope of Companies Act, 1956 to furnish information and statistics and to impose penalties for default. The Section applies to every company and every foreign body corporate, which has an office in India and carries on business in India. Information relating to constitution or working of the companies fall within the ambit of this section.
In exercise of the powers conferred by the above Section of the Act, the Central Government through its Notification No. S.O. 368(E), dated 6th April 1988 and S.O. 464(E) dated 2.5.1988 directed certain categories of companies to furnish information in specified formats regarding pattern of production etc.
It is difficult to invoke section 615 to get information from a large number of companies, which has already reached 5.44 lakh. This section requires issuing notifications and service of the notice individually on companies as per Section 51 of the Companies Act, 1956. This Section has been sparingly used in the past in the context of certain information about dominance etc. required for the purpose of the MRTP Act.
Since the provision of collection of statistics extends both in Companies Act and in Collection of Statistics Act, a mechanism should be created for coordination between the Department of Statistics and the Department of Company Affairs in the matter of collection of various items of statistics. Both the Departments should decide the suitability of collection of statistics under each of the two Acts and co-operate with each other in collecting the statistics.”
Ministry of Finance, Department of Revenue
“As such there are no legal bindings on the assesses to provide statistics though producing Income Tax laws. The collection of Statistics Act may be extended to cover Income Tax assesses also and make it mandatory for them to submit returns (a copy of it) to the Statistics Wing of the Department. Timely availability of these returns will improve the quality and timeliness of the data and estimates. The Article 243G of the 73rd amendment relating to Panchayati Raj which empowers Panchayati to collect statistics may be utilised for this end.
Though collection of taxes and other operations incidental it are carried out under the statutory provisions of Income Tax Act, 1961, the statistics which are compiled in this wing emanates a bye product of tax administrative. No Central Act like census or Collection of Statistics Act, 1953 or Collection of Statistics (Central) Rules 1959 has been brought into force while collecting or compiling income tax statistics.”
Department of Telecommunication
“So far as legal status for the collection of statistics is concerned, there is no such provision as yet basically because the service providers were mainly in the government sector and the information/data needed were obtained without any problem. However, with the opening up of telecom services for private service providers since 1994, the telecom services (both basic and value added) are being provided by these private sector companies. However, the data on their activities and performance are scanty. Therefore, it is essential to make suitable legal provisions so that the required information/data are collected/sent by the various private operators on regular basis and the reliable database is created, maintained and constantly updated. Needless to emphasis that complete data on the sector as a whole would provide the required input back up to assess its role and contribution in the Indian Economy.”
Ministry of Commerce
“A Task Force has been formed which includes Economic Advisor, Ministry of Commerce, Joint Secretary, Customs, DG, DGCI&S, DGFT for harmonisation of codes of Customs, Excise, ITC(HS) and DGFT codes at 8 digit level. The work is under progress.”
Ministry of Power
“The Section-4 of Electricity (Supply) Act, 1948 provides that “It shall be the duty of each Electricity Board, Generating Co., State Government Electricity Department or other licensee or persons supply electricity for public or private purposes or generating electricity for its or his own use or consuming electricity to furnish to the Authority such accounts, Statistics, returns or other information relating to the generation, supply and use of electricity as may require at such times and in such forms and manner as it may direct.”
Under the above provisions, all the concerned Electricity Generating Agencies are furnishing generation Statistical data to CEA and at present no problem has been experienced.”
Office of the Development Commissioner, Small Scale Industries
“Entrepreneurs simply do not like to part with data unless there is “something” in it for them. Invariably, the expectations are for different types of incentives, subsidies and marketing help. Without getting into a debate on how this culture and mentality got created, we may note that the ground situation today is substantially away from the past approaches with most of such concessions gradually withdrawn. Another reason for not parting with data has been the fear of the information getting passed on to the tax authorities. Under the circumstances, a legal backing for collection of data under the “Collection of Statistics Scheme” of SSI is asked for. At present even registration with SDI/DIC is voluntary. The Department of Statistics also feels the need for providing a legal tooth for statistical data collection through appropriate amendment of the Collection of Statistics Act, 1953. They also suggest penal action if data is not provided within a stipulated time as in advanced countries. The “Collection of Statistics Scheme” of SSIs has not even been coming under this Act with the result that there is no legal authority even to ask for data from the SSI units. Thus a legal provision to back collection of data from SSI units would certainly be welcome. However, the use of penalty clause may not be as easy in out context as in advanced countries (given their number and hence the practicability of invoking it), spread (and our federal nature of states), diversity and our politics. Also, even if data is obtained, the quality will be highly suspect. We have already noted that almost 50% to 60% of production is not reported. Under the circumstances, a legal backing, assuring that the statistics given by them can’t be used by any other authority (a la VDIS) only may help. Admittedly, this will not solve the problem of black economy nor is it the intention here. However, this assurance may substantially improve the quality of statistics and the national income estimates. Also, while legally no action can be taken on individual units, a more realistic picture of National Income at the macro level will certainly help in evolving policies to tackle the black economy problem from the macro level on the one hand and in identifying potential areas of resource mobilisation on the other.”
Ministry of Chemicals & Fertilizers, Department of Chemicals & Petrochemicals
“It is essential to develop a data base for pharmaceutical sector containing vital information like (a) number of licensed manufacturers for bulk drugs and formulations: (b) production (quantity and value) of bulk drugs and formulations item-wise, in the organized as well as small scale sectors; (c) details of imports and exports of bulk drugs and formulations item-wise etc. It is essential to develop a system enabling collection of such data. This will help the Department in the review of performance of pharmaceutical/Drug policy of the Government.
Chemicals and petrochemicals sectors
“As a result of liberalization of industrial economy of the country free from compulsory licensing, the companies do not respond favourably and the supply of the information is also delayed. At times, there is a time lag of even 1 to 3 months in the supply of monthly information and the coverage of data is about 85% to 90%. Moreover, the information regarding the products manufactured by the various small scale industries is also not covered by the Department. Since the medium and small enterprises contribute substantially to production of chemicals (about 30%) is incomplete to that extent.”
Ministry of Rural Development, Department of Rural Development
“The Ministry does not have any legal backing for collection of the data mentioned herein.”
Ministry of Urban Affairs & Employment, National Building Organisation (NBO)
“Filing of the returns are not made mandatory and are not obligatory under any law.”
Animal Husbandry Statistics, Department of Animal Husbandry Dairying
“Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries are State subjects. At present there are no legal provisions for data collection in these sectors. It is suggested that a comprehensive act on collection of statistical data including these sectors will go in a long way in improving the quality, timeliness and accuracy of these data.”