Union Cabinet approved amendments to Collection of Statistics Act, 2008
The amendment will strengthen the data collection mechanism in the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
The Union Cabinet on 15 February 2017 approved an amendment to the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008.
Primarily, the amendment bill seeks to extend the jurisdiction of the existing Act to Jammu and Kashmir.
Features of the Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017
• The amendment bill extends the purview of the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to Jammu and Kashmir.
• The bill covers the statistics relevant to any matters under any of the entries specified in the List-I (Union List) and the List- III (Concurrent List) in the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution.
• The bill is also applicable to the Constitution (Application to Jammu and Kashmir) Order, 1954.
• It also provides for appointing a nodal officer in the Union Government and in each State/Union Territory (UT) to effectively coordinate data collection activities.
• The nodal officer is also mandated to provide consultation to various departments for avoiding unnecessary duplication.
• The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 was enacted by the Parliament to facilitate the collection of statistics on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects.
• The original Act extends to the whole of India, except Jammu and Kashmir.
• Similarly, the Jammu and Kashmir State legislature enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010.
• This Act extends to the whole of the State of Jammu and Kashmir and is almost a replica of the central legislation.
• However, the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 and the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010 are not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List. This has created a legislative vacuum.
• Moreover, the concurrent jurisdiction to be exercised by the Centre in Jammu and Kashmir has also not been provided for in the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008.
• The amendment is intended to address this vacuum.