MCLEAN: This is with reference to Shahbaz Rana’s worthy report titled ‘Engineered growth’ (May 31). The issue of creating an independent statistical office is a long-standing one. Incoming governments always accuse the outgoing one of cooking the books. However, when the shoe is on the other foot, they do the same thing. Since inflation is understated, real output must be overstated. And since almost all economic variables are linked to real output, there are large cascading errors in the entire macroeconomic framework.
The fact that the NA Standing Committee on Economics and Statistics has not even met is (as you suggest) a reflection of the low priority we attach to good statistics. I wonder how many people in the committee know anything about either economics or statistics.
Published in the Express Tribune June 1st, 2010.