Hyderabad: The planning department is facing a serious problem in collecting data on agriculture, electricity, real estate and others to make an estimate of the Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP). The Centre finalises the annual borrowing limit for the state government based on the GSDP data.
The government has itself to blame. As many as 452 out of 584 posts of mandal planning and statistical officer are vacant. At the state level, there are 34 vacancies in the headquarters and eight at the district-level.
The Directorate of Economics and Statistics is the centralised agency for the collection, compilation, analysis and dissemination of statistics on various subjects. It estimates the GSDP and district domestic product regularly.
The estimation of GSDP requires data from agriculture, horticulture, forestry, animal husbandry, fisheries, mining, electricity, transport, tourism, storage, real estate, public administration departments, socio economic surveys and others.
With the introduction of Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management (FRBM) Act, the importance of the GSDP especially for the finance department has increased.
To collect this data, every mandal has to have a planning and statistical officer (MPSO); after reorganisation of districts the number of mandals has increased from 459 to 584.
The MPSOs are not only vital functionaries in collection of statistics but also equally important in formulation of policies. In the absence of MPSOs in 452 mandals it has become very difficult to provide timely data for policy initiatives.
The government has introduced the concept of ‘Know your district, Plan your district’ to prepare plans utilising the resources available in each district and sub-district. These plans also require data on the availability of resources, and the MPSO is the officer who does the job.
The Centre’s Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana makes the village as the insurance unit. Here too, MPSOs are the primary workers for conducting crop cutting experiments....