The Senate Standing Committee on Statistics was held on Friday. Chaired by Senator Dr. Jehanzeb Jamaldini, the meeting was attended by Senator Nighat Mirza, Senator Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum, Leader of the House, Senator Syed Shibli Faraz and senior officers from the Ministry of Statistics, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and The State Bank.
The agenda before the Committee entailed the coding system of Pakistan and issues of data compilation.
The meeting commenced with a detailed briefing of the Ministry of Statistics on the coding system in Pakistan and classification based on international taxonomy. Senator Lt. Gen (R) Abdul Qayyum inquired from the Ministry measures taken to maintain data authenticity and the role that the Committee can play in introducing legislation to help.
The Committee was informed that the Ministry faced huge problems while gathering data in Sindh. However, it is trying to sensitize the province that this will lead to a drop in the Province’s international share which will have adverse effects on its economic growth. It was revealed that a mere 20 per cent data was retrieved from Karachi which is the hub of Industrial and Economic activity. These details came up while discussing issues of data compilation with FBR and State Bank of Pakistan.
While emphasizing the need for quality control Chairman Committee, Senator Jehanzeb Jamaldini stressed the need for quality control. He said that without quality management Pakistan tends to lose its business share internationally. He said that the Committee must ensure that all measures are taken to ensure that the Ministry of Industry facilitates the Bureau of Statistics and the Ministry of Statistics in every way to obtain accurate data.
While discussing details of data acquisition from Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited (PRAL) Leader of the House, Senator Shibli Faraz objected to the fact that data was being compiled in terms of PKR instead of international USD standards. He stressed the need for data compilation in USD and said that data other than in this form could be considered deceptive. He stressed the need for authentic data for strong policy making and said that by the end of the term of this government Pakistan will possess a strong database that would provide information on all sectors.
It was revealed that currently the Ministry did not have a Chief Statistician and that policies were being formulated to ensure that the Ministry staff who have been working in junior positions are promoted to this level.
The Committee assured the Ministry of its all out support.