Why in news?
Retail inflation dropped to 5.91% in March from the 6.58% in February, mostly on a drop in food prices, according to the Consumer Price Index data released by the National Statistical Office on 13th April 2020.
- Food inflation fell to 8.76% in March, in comparison with the 10.81% in February.
- Vegetable price inflation saw the sharpest fall, dropping from 32% to 19% over the course of a month. Spices and prepared food, snacks and sweets were the only food categories that saw a slight increase in prices.
- Retail inflation has been easing off since hitting an almost six-year high of 7.59% in January, and analysts expect the trend to continue over the next few months.
- The COVID-19 crisis has also affected field data collection used to calculate inflation, although the NSO said the overall impact of missing price data on CPI estimates was within acceptable limits.
National Statistical Office (NSO)
- When the government passed the order for the merger of NSSO and CSO, it didn’t mention any role of the National Statistical Office (NSO), reinforcing the long-held belief that the government was undermining it.
- This merger will lead to depriving the Autonomy of NSSO as it will be a part of the MoSPI.
- This order from the government clearly puts the merged entity under MoSPI Secretary, raising questions about the independence of the process through which official survey data is collected and published.
- The National Sample Survey Office used to work under the Ministry of Statistics of the Indian government until May 2019. On 23rd May 2019, the NSSO merged with the Central Statistics Office (CSO) to form the National Statistical Office (NSO). The Government stated that the NSO will be headed by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation (MOSPI).