Parliament passes Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017
A bill empowering the Centre to collect statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir was passed by the Parliament after it received a go ahead in the Rajya Sabha on 26 July 2017.
The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 received Parliamentary approval after it was passed by the Rajya Sabha on 26 July 2017. The bill was passed by the Parliament’s lower house, Lok Sabha earlier in April 2017.
The bill seeks to amend the Collection of Statistics Bill, 2008 and empower the Centre to collect statistical data from Jammu and Kashmir.
• The Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017 was introduced by the Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, D.V.Sadananda Gowda in the Lok Sabha on 20 March 2017.
• The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 facilitated the collection of statistics related to social, economic, demographic, scientific and environmental aspects, by central, state and local governments.
• The act was, however, not applicable to Jammu and Kashmir, given the state’s special status under Article 370.
• The new bill hence seeks to amend the 2008 act and extend its jurisdiction to cover Jammu and Kashmir for the collection of statistics pertaining to subjects that fall under the Union or the Concurrent list of the Constitution as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir including citizenship, education, banking, labour and forests.
Appointment of Nodal officer
• The bill also adds provisions for the appointment of a nodal officer by the Union or state government.
• The power and duties of the nodal officer can be determined by the Union government.
• The main function of the officer would be to coordinate and supervise statistical activities under the government that has appointed him.
Use of Information
According to the 2008 Act, the information collected under it could only be used for statistical purposes.
The amendment bill has however, removed this provision. The new bill empowers the central government to determine the manner in which such information collected will be used, for statistical purposes.