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As development activities progressed in the country, the demand for reliable and timely socio economics data also increased. It was in 1971, during the formulation of the 3rd Five Year Plan, that a statistical cell was established within the then Ministry of Development to cater to the planning data needs. Later in 1979 the cell was expanded and upgraded to a divisional status within the Planning Commission and was called the Centeral Statistical Office (CSO). In order for the organization to perform more independently the CSO was detached from the Planning Commission Secretariat and was given an autonomy status and was designated as the National Statistics Bureau (NSB).