NEW DELHI: The government is considering using mobile applications to capture price data to estimate the monthly retail inflation numbers and also plans to release regional level inflation going ahead in a move to emphasise on the key indicator’s relevance.
The ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MoSPI) plans to rope in private companies to collect data, a move that will reduce costs and time taken for collating relevant information for consumer price index (CPI).
“Next year, CPI will be different because we plan to capture data through mobile apps,” said an official in the know of the details.
“This is at idea stage and we will float tender to rope in private parties for data collection in case this goes through,” the official added.
CPI is based on purchase behaviour in which products are selected from the consumer expenditure survey. Markets are then selected randomly from towns and villages where surveys of goods of precise product description are done at shops.
Monthly price data are collected through web portals from 1,114 markets in 310 selected towns and 1,181 selected villages.
This is a completely paperless survey in the sense that there is online transmission of data and no paper schedules are used. Various activities such as data entry, uploading and scrutiny are monitored with the help of two government created portals.
The official added that besides using mobile apps, the government will also increase the number of markets from which price data is reported to around 2,600.
“We will increase the number of markets per district in rural areas from two and compile regional level indices based on districts with similar agro climatic conditions,” the official added.
For this, 10-15 districts with similar agro climatic conditions would be clubbed together.
After national and state level CPI, the government also plans to release regional level retail inflation data.