First economic census to give complete picture of Nepal’s economy
KATHMANDU, April 14: The government is carrying out the ‘National Economic Census 2018’ from Saturday. The first census to collect statistics of all enterprises (establishments) from across the country is going to be carried out with an objective of getting data for the complete profile of Nepali economy.
An establishment refers to an enterprise or part of enterprise; for example: a shop, a restaurant, a coffee shop, a factory, an office, a hotel, a school, and so on that is situated at a fixed location, under a single management, and operates economic activities such as selling goods or providing services.
Through the survey, the government will get data of both registered and unregistered establishments and businesses. The census is also expected to disclose the basic industrial structure of the entire territory as well as the status of newly opened establishment.
So far, 39 countries have conducted such economic census.
With the support of the Government of Japan and Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) on capacity development for the implementation of the economic census, the Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) is introducing e-census for the first time along with the manual questionnaires to collect the data of establishments and enterprises.
The census will be carried out from April 14 to June 14, and 3,300 enumerators will be mobilized for the collection of the data, according to the CBS.
“Nepal is a mountainous country. There are so many difficult places to send an enumerator. So, it is necessary to promote e-census in Nepal to reduce the workload and the cost associated with the manual process,” said F Nishi, chief advisor of the project.
According to Nishi, those enumerators who receive tablet computer for the survey will enter responded forms and submit them through e-census application. The online census is expected to reduce the workload and costs for data entry and data editing for the CBS. The CBS will also use the satellite imagery for census mapping.
Among others, the questionnaire will include the topics of ownership of the establishment, type and area of business place, year of starting the business, business hours, number of persons engaged by sex, employment status and nationality, kind of main business activities and second main businesses, total number of the entire regular employees, amount of sales, operating expenses and access for credit.
The statistical results will be further used for planning and implementation of policies, plans and strategies of line ministries, province level authorities, and local governments, as well as for use by universities, research institutions and the private sector. It will disclose the actual condition of Nepal’s economy.
“The census will give a massive database from the lowest ward level which can help us on understanding the economic condition of the country,” said Suman Raj Aryal, director general of the CBS. “As the census will also do a mapping of population density and economic activities, private sector can identify the area where they can make investment while the government can frame its policies accordingly,” he added.
As the economic census is also going to collect the data of the establishments in the informal sector, it will also help in getting a picture of the informal economy in the country. “Putting together the finding of the economic census, population census and agricultural census, we can get the size of the informal economy of the country,” added Aryal.