CBS begins first Economic Census from today

- Post Report, Kathmandu

Apr 14, 2018-

Nepal will conduct first Economic Census beginning Saturday to ascertain the contribution of private and state-owned enterprises and other commercial establishments to the national economy. 

The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS), the government agency that collects, processes, analyses and disseminates data, is taking the lead to conduct the large-scale survey throughout the country. The survey will continue till June 14. If things go according to plan, preliminary results will be released within next eight to nine months.

The census will provide fundamental statistics on all establishments and enterprises in Nepal and disclose actual situation of Nepal’s economy, Fumihiko Nishi, chief advisor of the Project on Capacity Development for the Implementation of Economic Census 2018 supported by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), told journalists on Friday. 

The census will also help Nepal identify new economic activities taking place in the country, which will assist the CBS to update the GDP basket and revise the almost-two-decade-old base year for calculation of national accounts.

The survey, according to the CBS, will cover all private and state-owned enterprises, cooperatives, non-governmental organisations and other institutions, such as temples, political organisations and branch offices of foreign companies.

The survey, however, will not cover agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors, as the CBS has been conducting Agriculture Census every 10 years. 

The study will also exclude activities of international organisations, including embassies and multilateral institutions, public administration, defence sector, operators of mandatory social security schemes and street vendors. Also, goods and services produced at the household level for self consumption will not be included in the study.

The CBS will mobilise 3,521 enumerators to collect the data from an estimated 1.5 million establishments across the country. Each enumerator will cover 15 establishments per day in urban areas and 8 per day in rural areas, according to Nishi, who is also a professor at Statistical Research and Training Institute in the Japanese Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. These enumerators will be equipped with tablets, which will reduce the workload and cost of data entry and editing.

Once the census is complete, the country will have a depository of information on enterprises engaged in retail and wholesale trade, construction, real estate, finance, communications, transportation, information technology, hospitality, utilities, health, education and other manufacturing and services sectors. 

The survey will also provide information on investment, including foreign, these enterprises have attracted, technologies they have deployed, number of jobs they are creating, products they are manufacturing and revenue they are generating. These findings will shed light on advancement of the industrialisation process in the country. 

The census will also provide information on the size of the informal economy and establishments’ access to finance. 

The findings of the study can be used by all three tiers of the government to formulate appropriate policies and assess effectiveness of policies launched till date. 

The results can also be used by enterprises to compare their performance with those of others, help researchers and academicians to conduct further studies and facilitate the government to create enterprise database using data such as phone numbers, e-mail ID and web address. The results, according to Nishi, will also facilitate federal, provincial and local governments to understand where they stand vis-a-vis others.

Published: 14-04-2018 08:23

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