2.5.1 With the Services Sector’s growing share in the nation’s GDP, the need for establishing a well-organised mechanism that can maintain a sound statistical database for this can hardly be over-emphasised. The task becomes difficult given the vastness of the sector, its heterogeneous nature as well as fast-changing composition with the frequent emergence of new services and the exit of obsolete ones. Thus the evolving of an appropriate survey methodology for collection of data from the vast Services Sector is a real challenge.
2.5.2 The Commission has noted that for different sub-sectors of Services Sector, the estimates of the number of workers based on the existing Follow-up Enterprise Surveys of the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation quite often diverge widely from the alternative estimates available from the sources like the Employment-Unemployment Surveys of the same Ministry and the Population Census. Further, data users perceive that Follow-up Enterprise Survey estimates of gross value added per worker for different sub-sectors are sometimes unrealistic. This problem should be addressed by way of carrying out methodological research to find out innovative methods of data collection. The Commission has recommended the setting up of a unit in the proposed National Sample Survey Office of the National Statistical Organisation to regularly undertake studies for bringing about improvements in the survey methodologies, including the method of data collection. Further, for the emerging areas like software exports, e-commerce, entertainment sector, and related fields, the Commission has recommended the development of a suitable methodology for estimating their contribution in employment, gross value added, etc.
2.5.3 The existing Follow-up Enterprise Surveys on the Services and other sub-sectors (excluding manufacturing and repairing sub-sectors), carried out by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, take into account all types of enterprises (other than those in the public sector), irrespective of their size, under the same survey year. This approach to data collection might lead to improper representation of bigger units in the sample causing distortion in the estimated results. Thus the survey estimates are subject to a large margin of sampling error. To overcome this problem, the Commission has recommended the carrying out of a survey of ‘bigger’ units in sub-sectors other than manufacturing and repairing. For complete coverage of the sub-sectors, the residual category of relatively smaller units should be surveyed through the existing Follow-up Enterprise Surveys. As trade and services figure in the State list, the Commission has also recommended the evolving of an appropriately decentralised survey mechanism in collaboration with State Directorates of Economics and Statistics.
2.5.4 The latest classification of economic activities, i.e. National Industrial Classification 1998 (NIC-98), that also includes activities relating to services, accepts the major features of the International Standard Industrial Classification (ISIC) 1990 (Revision 3). A comparison of the NIC-98 with the World Trade Organisation’s List of Services reveal that some of the emerging activities are not specifically listed in the NIC-98. The Commission has, therefore, recommended developing a mechanism to identify such activities on a regular basis and for assigning them proper codes within the framework of NIC.