On July 26, 2017, Rajya Sabha passed Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017, which seeks to amend the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008. The amendment bill was introduced by the Minister of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Mr. D.V.Sadananda Gowda in Lok Sabha in March 2017 and was passed in April 2017.
Legislative vacuum pertaining to Collection of Statistics in Jammu & Kashmir:
The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, was enacted to facilitate the collection of statistics on economics, demographics, social, scientific and environmental aspects.
- The Act extended to the whole of India except Jammu and Kashmir.
- The Jammu and Kashmir legislature had enacted the Jammu and Kashmir Collection of Statistics Act, 2010, which extends to the whole state and is almost a replica of the central legislation. But, it is not applicable to statistical subjects falling in the Union List, This had created a legislative vacuum.
Key Provisions of Collection of Statistics (Amendment) Bill, 2017:
The amendment bill seeks to amend the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 to extend its jurisdiction to Jammu and Kashmir too pertaining to subjects under the Union or the Concurrent list of the Constitution as applicable to Jammu and Kashmir. These subjects include citizenship, education, banking, labour and forests.
- The amendment is intended to address a legislative vacuum as there are separate Acts for the whole of India and Jammu & Kashmir on collection of statistical data.
- While the original Act limits the usage of information collected only for the purpose of statistics, the amendment seeks to remove this clause by allowing the central government to determine the manner in which such information collected will be used.
- The Bill also provides for the appointment of a nodal officer by the central or state government. The nodal officer will coordinate and supervise statistical activities under the government by whom he/she is appointed.