KATHMANDU: The House of Representatives recently endorsed the Statistics Bill after 28 months after it was registered in the National Assembly. The Act was first introduced in 1958. The President will sign the bill into law to pave the way for its enforcement.
The newly endorsed bill has renamed the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) the National Statistics Office (NSO) with the Chief Data Officer- a special class officer- as head of the agency. The NSO will be under the Office of the Prime Minister and Council of Ministers (OPMCM) with the responsibility of coordinating local and province-level government bodies. The government formed the powerful new body as the CBS was under the National Planning Commission, which is constituted through a formation order that provides weak legal status to the highest policy-making body of the government.
The newly approved bill has provided adequate authority, capacity, and autonomy to function. The bill was designed in line with the new federal administrative structure which needs a powerful body to coordinate and develop national-level statistics. “Without permission from the NSO, no organization can develop data. We will be able to end duplication of data on similar issues,” said Dhundiraj Lamichhane, director of CBS. However, a government agency or public organization does not have to take permission to collect data for its own purposes and any organization or any person for academic or private study research.