The Senate Standing Committee on Statistics was held on Friday. Chaired by Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, the meeting was attended by Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi, Senator Nighat Mirza, Senator Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum and senior officers from the Ministry of Statistics and Pakistan Bureau of Statistics.
The meeting commenced with a run-down of the implementation status of recommendations that were given in the previous meeting. While discussing details of the Industrial Statistics it was revealed that the analysis for 15 major industrial groups reflected that large scale manufacturing sector has been showing mixed trend of growth over the last 12 years. With growth of 6.01 in 2007-2008, a sharp decline was observed in 2008 - 2009 bringing growth to a sharp decline of -5.96. This was mainly due to Industrial sectors such as textile, automobiles, Iron and steel, electronics. The Bureau asserted that the last two years have shown an upward trend in growth reaching a level of 5.80 in 2016-17 and 5.38 in 2017-18.
While discussing numeric’s presented in the meeting, the Committee showed displeasure regarding authenticity of data. Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi was of the view that something was amiss and said that data that was presented regarding the Petroleum Sector too was incorrect. She said that she had been part of the Standing Committee on Petroleum for six years and the figures presented in this meeting did not match.
Asserting the importance of data authenticity, Senator Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum said that authentic data was imperative to move forward. He asked if the Bureau was equipped to get data, without which getting a realistic picture of the situation at hand was impossible. He further added that that data must be presented via info graphics to allow complete grasp of the situation at a glance.
Senator Engr. Rukhsana Zuberi was of the view that it was extremely important that the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics be strengthened because it is not being given the kind of focus that it requires to attain undisputed records.
The Committee recommended that complete data regarding small and large scale industries of Pakistan may be presented in the next meeting with a special focus on Faisalabad and Sialkot.