18 June 2001





Meeting of the Expert Group on International Economic

and Social Classifications

New York, 18- 20 June 2001






The Statistics Wing in the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation is an apex body in the official statistical system of the country. Its major responsibilities include: laying down and maintenance of norms and standards in the field of statistics involving concepts and definitions, methodology of data collection, processing of data and dissemination of results.

Classifications used in the country :

(A) Industrial Classification:

Industrial classifications have for long been in use in India for conducting Population Census, Industrial Surveys, National Income Estimates, Labour Statistics etc. Being an apex body the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation took up the task of evolving a Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) in early 1960 and released SIC in 1962 with the coordination of all other user agencies. It followed the ISIC Rev. 1 in its entirety at the division level (1-digit level) with slight deviations at the major group (2-digit level). Three revisions took place since then in 1970, 1987 and in 1998 considering the changes in the economy from time to time.

Salient features of NIC 1998

· Does not draw the distinction according to the kind of ownership, type of legal organization, type of technology and scale/mode of operation.

· Followed the principles of ISIC Rev. 3. In fact, the structure of ISIC Rev. 3 up to the 4-digit level has been incorporated in toto and the 5th digit level has been used to accommodate the national requirements.

· Units that repair or overhaul capital goods are classified in the same class as the units that produce the goods. Three main exceptions for this rule are; repair and maintenance of motor vehicles and motor cycles which are classified in Groups 502 & 504, respectively; repair of personal and household goods which is classified in Group 526 and repair and maintenance of computer and office equipment which is classified in Class 7250.

Main users of NIC 1998 in India

NIC-1998 is used in the large scale surveys conducted by the National Sample Survey Organisation, NSSO. The national income estimates are presented at 2-digit level of NIC-1998. The Registrar General of India has followed NIC-1998 in the latest population census conducted during February-March, 2001. Recently, the Reserve Bank of India has started using National Industrial Classification for their Banking Statistical Returns. Many more organizations like Ministry of Science & Technology, Ministry of Small Scale Industries have started using National Industrial Classification in their surveys/census.

Updation of NIC -1998

In the last two years there has been a significant change observed in the Indian economy especially in the field of information technology and services sector. Consequently, it has been decided to update NIC-1998 by introducing the newly emerged economic activities and other relevant changes required by major industries like Steel & Mines, Textiles etc.

Shri. M.S. Maulik, Deputy Director General of this Ministry had attended a technical sub-group meeting held at New York during 26th March, 2001 to 30th March, 2001 and the guidelines followed for the revision of ISIC Rev. 3 will also be utilized and are under consideration for the revision of National Industrial Classification - 1998.

(B) Product Classification:

The Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation has brought out its first Product Classification in 1978 with a nomenclature Common Product Nomenclature (CPN). The same has been revised in 1988/1990 based on National Industrial Classification - 1987. Both these classifications were developed on the guidelines of ISIC, Rev. 2 (ISIC 68). CPN 1998/1990 covers both transportable goods as well as services sector. With the recent release of National Industrial Classification - 1998 (NIC-1998), it has become necessary to revise CPN 1988/1990. A draft Product Classification both for transportable goods and services sector have been prepared independently and circulated for comments and are likely to be finalized by 2001.


The main users of the product classification in India are Ministry of Finance (Directorate of Customs & Excise) and Ministry of Commerce (Directorate General of Foreign Trade & Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics), National Accounts Division of Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (for the preparation of input-output tables) .

Coding System for transportable goods

· It is an 8-digited coding system.
· The coding system as per the Harmonised Commodity Description and Coding System (HSN).
· The statistical code of the Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence & Statistics (DGCI&S) is the base for developing the national classification code.
· Concordance tables between the existing Customs Excise Codes and the proposed new codes and vice-versa would be prepared.

Salient features of NPC-2001 (services sector)

· This is an 8-digited coding system as in the case of transportable goods.
· First 4-digit represents the first 4 digits of NIC-1998. 6th digit represent the 3-digited group of CPC version 1.0 of UNSD with extensions wherever necessary. 6th digit represents classes of CPC. Last two digits represent the ultimate description of the product mostly based on the CPN 1990.
· All the items of World Trade Organisation are proposed to be wholly included.
· Concordance table has been prepared with reference to CPC version 1.0 and also with CPN 1988/1990.