14.4 Queries Raised On The Adequacy And The Periodicity Of Subject Coverage In The NSS And The Summary Of Responses Received
14.4 Queries Raised on the Adequacy and the Periodicity of Subject Coverage in the NSS and the Summary of Responses Received
Queries raised to the major data users
Whether the present subject coverage of the NSSO is sufficient? If not, what are the additional subjects/ areas on which the data are to be collected by the NSSO and with what periodicity?
Is the present periodicity of data collection by the NSSO sufficient for different subjects? If not, what are the changes required?
Whether collection of data on consumer expenditure and employment-unemployment through thin sample is required to be continued annually? If so, what are the uses of such data?
Summary of responses received
Department of Agriculture & Cooperation, Ministry of Agriculture
The NSSO should make available reliable, comprehensive and timely statistics on horticultural crops.
Ministry of Labour
The estimates as per the quinquennial survey of employment-unemployment are extremely useful. The periodicity of the survey is adequate for their purpose. The annual estimates based on thin sample meet the useful purpose of providing broad indicators of employment and unemployment. The sample size however should be sufficient to provide valid estimates at least at the State level. The annual surveys on consumer expenditure and employment-unemployment fill the data gaps between the quinquennial rounds. It is felt that the surveys are required to be continued annually.
For construction of wage rate indices in respect of different agricultural occupations at all-India and State level, it would be desirable if the NSSO also collects State wise and occupation wise employment data. This will be required for the purpose of derivation of weighting diagram for all the occupations. This may, however, be collected on quinquennial basis.
Further, consumer expenditure data for Rural Informal Sector Workers needs to be collected by the NSSO for derivation of weighting diagram for compilation of CPI for Rural Informal Sector Workers as the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) on Statistics of Prices and Cost of Living (SPCL) had entrusted the Labour Bureau with the job of conducting pilot study in this regard. The periodicity of this data may, however, be decided in consultation with TAC on SPCL on the basis of the results of the pilot study to be undertaken by the Labour Bureau.
As far as Rural Labour Enquiry (RLE) is concerned, the data are being collected on quinquennial basis. RLE Surveys should be done at lesser interval to ascertain the extent to which the benefits accrue to rural labour. Planners and policy makers also would be able to utilize the same for policy formulation.
Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India
NSSO should now focus on covering more subjects particularly on new emerging areas like Environment, Bio-technology, etc. as well as covering new topics in the health system and prevalence of different diseases like AIDS, TB, Hepatitis B, Infant/ Prenatal/ Antenatal/ Maternal mortality and Indian System of Medicine etc.
Central Bureau of Health Intelligence, Directorate General of Health Services
Surveys on Social Consumption are proposed at least once in 3 years. The subject coverage of NSSO surveys on health also needs to be enlarged. It is further suggested to have a separate Wing for health surveys in the NSSO and to have representation of an experienced health statistician and public health personnel in the GC. The following additional topics are also suggested for coverage:
Profile of disability in population induced by diseases
Profile of mental disability in population
Prevalence of diseases such as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, thalasemia, hypertension, blindness, Hepatitis B, etc.
Surveys on availability of health personnel in villages, health condition of workers in hazardous industries, availability of health care facilities in CHC, PHC, etc. and health care facilities in Government Hospitals
Usage of Indian System of Medicines and Homeopathy treatment
National Accounts Division, CSO
Quarterly Survey of Establishments: It is suggested to collect limited data on employment, total production/ sales/ receipts, total compensation to employees, value of inventory of goods and capital expenditure or additions to fixed assets from a panel of establishments on a quarterly basis for the activities of mining, manufacturing, construction, trade, hotels & restaurants, transport, storage, business services, education, medical & health and other services.
Annual Survey of Enterprises: The annual survey of enterprises (other than registered manufacturing) may also be conducted by the NSSO for non-public establishments.
Surveys on employment-unemployment: For compiling national accounts, and also to meet the SDDS requirements, it is necessary that industry wise data on work force is made available on annual/ quarterly basis by the NSSO, by strengthening the annual surveys.
Surveys on consumption expenditure: For preparing the estimates of private final consumption expenditure, the NSSO should conduct the annual consumer expenditure surveys, separately for households and Non-Profit Institutions Serving Households (NPISHs) with a larger sample – the focus being to generate quarterly consumption expenditure estimates based on the data of quarterly sub-rounds of annual surveys.
Department of Secondary Education & Higher Education, Government of India
The Department is of the view that the subject coverage at present is sufficient. They have suggested annual data collection of consumer expenditure in respect of educational items. Expenditure on school uniform, transport, tuition/ education fee and books/textbooks are proposed to be collected every year.
Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Ministry of Shipping
Both the Ministries have given the following views on the subject coverage and periodicity of the NSS:
In order to monitor yearly trend in the related variables, the need for carrying out annual surveys on consumer expenditure and employment-unemployment is felt. For generating reliable estimates of trend, adoption of rotational sample design for the yearly surveys is suggested.
It is felt that the present subject coverage is diverse and cover important areas of concern. However, as the new millennium is being heralded by a period of unprecedented changes affecting many aspects of national life and the people, some of the areas/ issues emerging into the forefront like reduced participation in civic life, dependence of social security nets, social exclusion and alienation, need to be taken up for coverage in the future.
Though the transport sector is being covered as one of the areas of the Enterprise Survey, the data collected in these surveys are not oriented to meet the requirements of the Ministry. In order to plug this loophole, the NSSO may conduct surveys specifically on Transport sector, collecting data sets on the variables which are of interest to the Ministries (such as number of vessels operated with valid certificates by type, age of the fleet, passengers and freight carried, nature, origin and destination of cargo, income and expenditure, etc. as suggested by the Ministry of Shipping). The NSSO may also arrange to collect the data on expenses incurred by the household on travel expenses and also on transportation as a part of the consumer expenditure survey periodically.
As regards the periodicity of data collection, the NSSO needs to carry out surveys on employment-unemployment, consumer expenditure, social consumption, delivery of public goods, etc. annually. The other subjects may be covered at larger intervals depending upon the requirements as emerging from time to time.
Response received from the NSSO
A letter was also addressed to the NSSO to inform (i) Plan of covering various subjects in the NSS as per a time cycle, (ii) Main users of such data, (iii) Methodological studies/ ad hoc surveys proposed to be taken up by the NSSO, (iv) Major changes contemplated, if any, in the survey methodology, sample size and periodicity of various subjects to be covered in the proposed surveys in future and (v) Need for such changes and its impact on the organizational structure.
In the response, the NSSO has communicated the 10-year programme by and large followed by them. They have also indicated the subjects covered during the period July 1990 – June 2002. Status of the two methodological surveys recently conducted by the NSSO is given. It is informed that more such studies will be taken up by the NSSO as and when found necessary by the Governing Council. It is further stated that the NSSO also undertakes ad hoc surveys of specific demand from other ministries.