The Collection of Statistics Act was enacted by the Parliament on September 18, 1953 to provide for the compilation of certain types of statistics dealing with industry, manufacture and commerce. The Act came into effect on November 10, 1956 when the Central Government notified in the Gazette of India. The application of the Act extends to the entire Indian Territory but does not affect the State of Jammu and Kashmir.
TheAct defines ‘commercial concern’ as a public limited company, business entity or co-operative society or any other individual or group of individuals engaged in the commercial activities. A commercial concern also consists of banking service, insurance sector, financial organization, navigation, transportation, advertising agencies, plantations or any other concerns included by the Central Government by notification. According to the Act an ‘industrial concern’ is same as a commercial concern but includes production, accumulation, packing, protection or processing of commodities or mining or in the creation or supply of electricity.
The Central Government may direct the collection of statistics in the field of industries, commercial or industrial establishments, matters connected with labor conditions specifically the price of goods, attendance of laborers, living conditions, rental fee, salaries and allowances, working hours, disputes in the commercial establishments, labor returns, trade unions etc. But the Act does not empower the State Government to issue orders regarding the collection of statistics in the entries included in the Seventh Schedule, List I of the Constitution of India.
The State Government is not permitted to issue any order regarding the collection of statistics where a similar order is proclaimed by the Central Government in this regard, without the prior authorization of such Government. Moreover, where a direction is issued by the State Government regarding the collection of statistics, a similar direction shall not be issued by the Central Government till the completion of the statistics collection by the State. But such direction shall be issued by the Central Government for more than one state.
The Act also empowers the Central Government to appoint a statistics authority to collect statistics according to the order of the Government. The authority may provide notice to any industrial or commercial establishments to endow with the prescribed information or returns dealing with the collection of statistics. The mode of providing the information or returns shall be in the format specified by the Central Government.
The concerned authority shall have the power to verify the information, documents, report and return furnished by the person, enter the premises where necessary, conduct inspection and require the person to submit any relevant records. The information or return submitted by the concerned person related to the establishment shall not be published in the manner enabling the identification of the details relating to that establishment without the previous express sanction of the owner. The Act penalizes for the omission or neglect to furnish information, providing false information, refusal to give answers regarding the details of information and hindrance to the right of access with fine as provided under the Act. The Act also empowers the Central government to formulate rules relating to matters provided specifically in the Act.
To implement the provisions and to put into effect the powers conferred by the Act, the Central Government framed the Collection of Statistics (Central) Rules in 1959. The Collection of Statistics Act, 1953 was repealed by the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 which came into force on June 11, 2010. The Central Government has also prepared the Collection of Statistics Rules, 2011 to execute the provisions of the 2008 legislation. Hence, the law relating to the collection of statistics was renewed by enacting a comprehensive legislation in the recent times.