Service sector statistics in India: Problems and way forward

SEEMA JOSHI, University of Delhi, India

Purpose: It has been observed in various studies that the ‘servicisation’ of the structures of production and employment has taken place in India. However, a problem peculiar to this sector or several types of services is that the output of some components of this sector is difficult to measure as well as to value it in monetary terms. The problems encountered in the measurement of service sector output motivated the author to undertake this study.

Design/methodology/approach: This paper makes use of secondary sources of data including various reports, books and journals, etc. An attempt has been made in this paper to review those studies which deal with measurement problems in services sector output.

Findings and implications: In the Indian context, it has been found that the database on the service sector is highly disorganised. It has been recognised in studies that the limitation of the existing system is marred by the absence of a well-organised mechanism for maintaining a regular and proper database for this sector. A large number of the unorganised units are located in the service sector and the composition of units in the domain undergoes changes at a rapid pace because new units or newer service areas come into existence and others disappear with alarming frequency. Therefore, the need for ‘devising a proper classification of services’ by identifying all new services and adopting a suitable methodology so as to maintain international comparability of data has been highlighted in various studies.

Originality/value: Although there are studies which try to point out measurability problems of services in developed European Economies, however, studies related to service sector statistics problems in India are far less in number. This paper will therefore mainly focus on the service sector statistics problems in India and point out the way forward.

Keywords: service sector statistics; quantification; measurement.

Outlook 2015 - Joshi2.pdf
Outlook 2015 - Joshi2.pdf
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