Statistics is the basis for development of all the fields in history. Without data collection on relevant variables, the scientific research cannot develop beyond some theoretical knowledge. It’s the collection of statistics that test these theories and make them available to be used to build the modern economy.
Federal government has recently started collected data about macroeconomics variables on quarterly variables. However, since the devolution of development work to the provinces, it becomes more relevant to respective governments to focus on establishing an independent Statistical office, on the similar patterns of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics. They should collect the data on the variables which can play a significant role in devising an effective development policy. It would also act as a source of verification to the statistics collected by the federal government about the level of development in the country. Provinces should keep track of all the development statistics including the number of schools, teachers, students, BHUs and the medical workers working there. In addition, they should also look at how many students get education and how many patients are treated in these units. It would not only act as a source of check on these institutions in their respective areas but would also help the government determine the return on their investments. They should even keep track of the electricity consumption of each household if it’s possible to consolidate the data. Because of the availability of the 3G technology, it should be easier for these provincial governments to build a database for their services and make it available to the policy makers to analyze it before formulating the policy for next year, 5 year plan or 10 year vision.
The governments should not only initiate the infrastructure projects (including roads, railway networks, airports or shipping ports) or development projects (building schools, provision of teaching staff etc.) after a detailed study but should also conduct studies afterwards to evaluate the impact of these projects. Once a system is in place to collect all the statistics, it will help the provincial governments to prioritize the projects based on their impact on local population and help them achieve a higher return on every rupee spent on development projects. It would also help the government to make the relevant officials accountable for lack of provision of public services to their respective areas.
It would also give the provincial government to get an idea about the level of income/economic development in different areas which will help them to formulate effective tax or income support policies for these regions. The rapid development of our country can only happen if we have a clear priorities about economic policies. The prioritization of economic policies can only be determined through collection of relevant development statistics.