New Delhi: Slippages in data collection have led to sharp variations in industrial growth estimates for January from 6.8 percent to 1.14 percent, compelling the government to fix the problem by setting up a panel.
    
The Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI) on March 12, had released the provisional Index of Industrial Production (IIP) for January pegging the growth at 6.8 percent. This had sent a positive signal as the data was a marked improvement over 2.5 percent in December, 2011.
    
However, according to the IIP figures released today, the January number stands revised drastically downward to 1.14 percent raising questions about authenticity of the data.
    
Concerned over the "slippages", the government is in the process of setting up a committee to fix the problems.
    
"....I think, the government is now setting up a committee to examine the IIP...we really need to tighten the various sources", Prime Minister's Economic Advisory Council Chairman C Rangarajan said.
    
Chief Statistician T C A Anant said, "there have been some slippages and so we are reiterating to ensure that such types of errors do not occur".
    
He said the problem mainly arose because of data on sugar production, though the segment has a small weight on the IIP. "Principally, it's on account of sugar. My guess is 95 percent of the change is on account of sugar," he said, adding the system for IIP relies on data collection from 16 agencies.
    
Expressing his concern, Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia said: "They should improve their system."
    
However, Chief Economic Adviser Kaushik Basu said, it was a "simple clerical mistake" and not a lack of transparency.

(Agencies)