The Hon’ble Minister, Yeshey Dorji had a brief meeting on 16 May 2016 with two officials from the National Statistics Bureau (NSB) accompanied by Mr. Michael Andrews, Senior Economist from International Monetary Fund, Washington DC; Mr. Kencho Thinley, the Chief Planning Officer and Mr. Chencho Dukpa, the Head of RNR Statistical Coordination Section.
The Chief, National Accounts and Price Division, NSB apprised the Lyonpo, the command of the Hon’ble Prime Minister to compile national accounts statistics on a quarterly basis. It was reported that the contribution from RNR sector to GDP is about 17% which is quite significant, not to mention that more than 60% of population is dependent on agriculture sector for income and livelihood. As such, a more accurate capture of the RNR sector’s contribution to GDP was critical and the support and intervention of the Lyonpo in making RNR statistics available to NSB on a quarterly basis was sought.
Lyonpo reiterated the importance of compiling quarterly GDP and he assured full support and cooperation of the Ministry of Agriculture and Forests (MoAF). He added that currently the publication of various RNR statistics has a long time lag, hence not very useful for policy intervention purposes.
In light of these gaps, Lyonpo said that MoAF would be interested to explore new ways of data collection and dissemination. One such idea is to explore the possibility of using Chiwog Tsogpas to do the data collection. Since most Chiwogs are small geographical areas composed of 2-3 villages, data collection may be possible even on a monthly basis. With the use of modern ICT tools like Android devices, data transmission to statistical agencies for processing and timely dissemination to the decision makers or public can be done almost instantaneously for useful planning purpose.
Lyonpo also requested the NSB officials to arrange a small technical presentation in the near future in order to enlighten the key statistical officials of MoAF on how the annual (or quarterly) GDP is calculated, particularly with emphasis on contribution from RNR sector.
The meeting concluded with Lyonpo asking the NSB officials and MoAF team to come up with a joint proposal immediately in order to implement the quarterly reporting system.
-Submitted by PPD
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