RBI panel for indices on labour, wage to improve policy making

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Seeking to address data gap problems, a RBI panel today made a case for compilation of separate indices on producer price, labour force, urban wages and household indebtedness with a view to improve monetary policy formulation.

"To address major data gaps in monetary policy-making, the committee recommends the compilation of various indicators, such as producer price index, services sector output and price index, labour force survey, urban wages, retail sales, construction activity survey, and surveys of household indebtedness through co-ordination with the relevant government agencies," the RBI said in a statement.

The panel, headed by RBI executive director Deepak Mohanty, said: "with increasing integration with the global economy and the growing complexity of the economic structure, information needs have increased considerably and data gaps are being experienced in various domains of central banking."

To address the concerns and to place the information management on a more technologically mature footing, the Committee on Data and Information Management was set up by the Reserve Bank.

It reviewed the current system of data collection, dissemination and management processes. It also examined the feasibility of moving towards granular, multi-purpose data collection and more integrated and structured data production processes.

The panel suggested that the scope and coverage of the financial soundness indicators may be expanded to non-bank segments of the financial sector. The frequency of compiling sectoral flow of funds may be made quarterly starting with the financial sector.

The envelope of data elements across various returns in different information domains should be rationalised. The data should be moved to an enterprise-wide data warehouse (EDW) with appropriate access rights for users, it said.

The panel suggested standardising various attributes and dimensions of data. It recommended the use of extensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL) as the principal vehicle for data submission.

A dissemination policy for the bank may be formulated and used as a guiding principle for disseminating or sharing information with various classes of users, within and outside the bank, it suggested.

To enhance the data governance framework, the RBI should identify and assign the role of Chief Information Officer (CIO) to a senior official, it added.

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