Minister for Agriculture, Dr. Mahendra Reddy says the 2019-20 Household Income and Expenditure Survey is flawed because the data for two different reference periods are lumped together however National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says Dr. Reddy has surrendered his academic credentials to his political masters.
He made this comment while giving ministerial statement on Fiji Agriculture Census 2020 vs 2019-2020 Household Income and Expenditure Survey.
Dr. Reddy says the survey used a 12 months enumeration period and was undertaken from February 2019 to February 2020.
Dr. Reddy then questioned how the data of households who were interviewed in February 2019 can be put with those households who were interviewed in February 2020.
He says a lot can change in 12 months like different prices and different consumption bundles due to production and supply patterns.
Dr. Reddy says TC Sarai made landfall on 24th December, 2019 and TC Tino made landfall on 18th January, 2020. He says these two cyclones made landfall in the later part of the survey and one cannot add households in two different periods.
Dr. Reddy says any statistician would tell that one has to avoid any shocks in the survey period because all other households were not subject to the same shock.
He also says the low sample size of 3.1 percent is well below a reasonable threshold for fair representation of the population in this survey.
National Federation Party Leader, Professor Biman Prasad says Dr. Reddy is a complete joker and it is embarrassing for him as he attacked his former colleagues saying that they have not done primary surveys.
He says the Fiji Bureau of Statistics sample of 3 percent is a very credible sample in a survey adding sample sizes in the Household Income and Expenditure Surveys in Australia and New Zealand is about 1 percent.
The NFP Leader says the real reason why this government is discrediting the survey is because it looks politically bad on them.
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