The government today notified the Collection of Statistics Act, 2008 which provides for punishment, including penalty and jail, for unwillingness to furnish information sought by the government from companies and individuals.
The Collection of Statistics Act, 2008, which comes into effect from today was enacted by the Parliament in January. It repeals the archaic Collection of Statistics Act of 1953.
Under the new Act, failure to provide information could be punishable by penalty of up to Rs1,000 in case of individuals and Rs5,000 in case of a company, the ministry of statistics and programme implementation (MOSPI) said in a statement.
"The Act provides penalties for neglect or refusal to furnish information. The penalty is up to Rs1,000 for individuals (Rs5,000 in case of a company)," it said.
The Act provides for statistics collection on economic, demographic, social, scientific and environmental aspects from both industrial and commercial concerns. It also provides for statistics collection from individuals and households.
To safeguard against misuse, it has been decided that information so collected would not be admissible as evidence for prosecution under any other law.
However, a payment of one time fine would not relieve a person or company from his obligation to provided the required information.
"If the concerned person continues to neglect or refuse to furnish information after the expiry of 14 days from the date of conviction, then he may be punished with a further fine of up to Rs1,000 (Rs5,000 in case of a company) for each day after the first during which the failure continues," MOSPI added.