21
Jan

New tax proposals must be framed in such a manner that cost of collection justifies the amount being sought to be raised.
 
Else, such new proposals need to be scrapped, says G. Raveendran, former additional director-general of Central Statistical Organisation.
 
He said this while presenting a paper on ‘Official statistics system in India’ at a workshop organised here by Kerala Statistical Institute. He cited an example from Punjab wherein the State Government proposed a luxury tax on the tourism trade.
 
The government stood to gain nothing after accounting for costs involved. “I found that the actual realisation was not going to exceed Rs. 10.1 crore in a year,” Raveendran said.
 
It doesn’t exactly help when the cost just about equals the amount being raised. Not surprisingly, the government earned the wrath of the industry.
 
The government was advised to scrap the proposal. At least this would give the industry some relief, went the logic.
 
INVESTMENT DECISION
Any good governance system has to be supported by good statistics. Growth can sustain only with good investment decisions. This needs reliable statistical information.
 
Accurate estimation of revenues accruing by way of taxes is important from the viewpoint of assessing resources at the government’s command.
 
Investment decisions can go awry if information on available resources is wrong. “In this manner, we can see that good governance is all about good statistics,” he pointed out.
 
M. Madhusoodanan, Deputy Director-General, National Sample Survey Organisation, Kerala, said that a good statistical system is a prerequisite for decision-making.
 
It has also a bearing on formulation of public policies and effective monitoring of development programmes.
 
LEGWORK STAYS
C.P. John, Member, Kerala Planning Board, is of the view that no modern technology can replace the legwork required needed collecting basic data.
 
India has had a robust statistical system right until the 60s ad 70s but has since failed to reflect the complexities associated with a diversified and expanded economy.
 
Data being delivered conceal more than it reveal, John said, quoting recent instances. He suggested quarterly issue of basic data so that planning can do away with guesstimates.
 
Among those who addressed the workshop are: A.N. Rajeev, Deputy Director, Directorate of Census Operations, Kerala; V. Ramachandran, Director, Economics and Statics, Kerala; P. Kochunarayana Pillai, Executive Director, Kerala Statistical Institute; P. Rajasekharan, Chief, Agriculture Division, Kerala Planning Board; and J. Navaz, Assistant Advisor, Reserve Bank of India, Kerala Region
 
 
Source: the hindu business line

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