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Applications of Business Register and NSO



Applications of Business Register and NSO

Altaf Hussain Haji

The Economic Census (EC) is a huge countrywide exercise for generating data on all economic activities.  It is also called the Business Register.  The Economic Census is the complete count of all non-farm economic establishments and units located within the geographical boundary of a country. The units may be involved in any economic activity either related to non-farm agricultural or non-agricultural sectors of the economy engaged in production or distribution of goods and services but not for the sole purpose of own-consumption excluding non-farm agricultural crop production and plantation.

As we know that the Economic Census gives important data of the state of the economy, prospects and the policy challenges. The Economic Census serves the requirements that determine the magnitude and spread of the economic units at the disaggregated level at planning and prepare the update Business register. The Business register will be an economic sampling frame and master sample for follow-up enterprise surveys where advance information and missing information is not available or possible in the economic census. There are many other uses of the economic census in the planning and policy formulation.

Some of the uses of the economic census are as under:

  • To create and develop a map of economic activities and the spatial
  • To find out detail information on the structure of economy i.e. disaggregated
    information on operational and structural variables of the establishments in
    the country.
  • To measure the diversity of non-farm economic activities in its major dimensions
  • To provide updates on units actually operative to concerned registering/licensing authorities, most of whom have no mechanism to live registers

In India, a fairly reasonable database exists for the Agriculture Sector whereas such data for the non-agricultural sector is not adequate. Keeping in mind the importance of the nonagricultural sector in the economy and the non-availability of the basic frame for adoption in various sampling techniques for collection of data and estimation of various parameters, the Economic Census was felt necessary.

The economic census in the country is a mandate of the National Statistical Office (NSO) under the Ministry of Statistics & Programme Implementation (MOSPI) government of India.  The NSO has the creation of a database for various sectors of the economy and its periodic updating so as to meet the requirements of the planners for sound and systematic planning both at the macro as well as micro-level.

 The origin and history of conducting Economic census in India started in 1976.   In 1976, the Government of India launched a planning scheme called “Economic Census and Surveys”. In 1977 Central Statistical Organization conducted a first economic census in collaboration with Directorate of Economics & Statistics [DES] in the States/Union Territories. Since the economic censuses of 1980 and 1990 were integrated with the house listing operations of the population census. The fourth Economic Census, fifth   Economic Census and sixth Economic Census were conducted 1998, 2005 and 2013 respectively.

All other economic censuses were conducted by the Directorates of Economics and Statistics of the states under the overall guidance and support of the Central Statistical Office (CSO).

The Seventh Economic Census data collection is under processes in Jammu and Kashmir. This census is different from all other six censuses in terms of collection of data and the use of technology with the aim to be paperless and bring out timely results in a short spell of time. The economic census also gives us employment data. The employment data is very important data sources for decision making.

It is to mention here that the task force made by the government of India and given various recommendations in its report during 2017 for improving employment data of Economic census.  The report also recommended that the Economic Census should be conducted every three years, beginning with the seventh economic census.

Jammu and Kashmir is also ready to collect the data on economic census through the Common Service Centers (CSCs) e-governance service India limited through the department of Science and Technology Jammu and Kashmir government under the supervision of the regional office of National Statistical Office (NSO), Field Operations Division, Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation, Government of India.

The Jammu and Kashmir administration has already constituted state-level coordination committee for smooth conduct of seventh economic census with the terms of reference to monitor preparedness, progress and hurdles in the conduct of seventh economic census on regular basis and ensure complete coverage of the data canvassed through validation against existing data basses such as state business register. The work of 7th economic census is almost near compilation in Jammu and Kashmir and its provisional results will be available near future for policy-making purposes of various indicators of the non-agriculture sector including indicators for Sustainable development goals.

As you are aware that the Field Operations Division (FOD) of the National Statistical Office (NSO) is responsible for conducting of large scale sample surveys in diverse fields. The National Statistical Office (NSO), Field Operations Division has been entrusted with the work of training, monitoring and supervision in the Economic Census and has also been directed to develop appropriate implementation framework along with Common Service Centre (CSC). The main role of NSO during conducting of the seventh economic census was including to conduct the training of trainers for effective capacity building of field enumerators and supervisors engaged by CSC, top provides support and supervision in the training of enumerators and supervisors conducted by CSC at district and sub-district level, to effective coordination with State government and district administration to and facilitate CSC SPV for smooth conduct of fieldwork of Seventh economic census,  etc.

The supervision of NSO  for the seventh economic census is incumbent upon us to ensure quality aspect for the enumeration process.   As we know that Quality is a very important issue for quality data. Since the fourth goal of the agenda of sustainable development goals (SDG’s) is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality and promote opportunities for all with the targets to be achieved by 2030.  Keeping in mind the quality of the data. National Statistical Office (NSO) has an important role in the supervision of the collection of data.

On behalf of the Field Operations Division of NSO and an officer of Indian Statistical Service (ISS), it is a duty to aware that all stakeholder to come forward for helping to obtain quality data which is used for development and wellbeing of the nation. The reliable data, obtained with the cooperation of the respondent, will help the government in measuring the contribution of economic activities.  Thus, the role of the respondent in the survey operations of the FOD is crucial and will contribute towards improving the quality of information. The Government, therefore, appeals to you to extend your kind cooperation to spare some of your valuable time to provide the correct and complete information.  The information so provided by you will go a long way in helping the government to improve the lives of the public with concrete plans and policies based on hard facts.

Altaf Hussain Haji, ISS, is Deputy Director General at National Statistical Office, State Head HP, based in Shimla. He can be contacted on



Women shaping informal sector in Kashmir



Women shaping informal sector

Dhaar Mehak M

 The informal sector is defined as the unregistered part of an economy. In a traditional economy, it is assumed that every business entity is formally registered with the government. A proper registration of a business unit is associated with a number of economic, political and social factors. All the registered units to begin with are enumerated in the industrial census. It keeps the government and policy makers informed about the number and nature of the units. The economic and industrial policies are made and shaped in light of these numbers. Social welfare is decided based on the outcomes coming from these registered units. And the long run industrial and economic planning is carried systematically based on information and evidence from the ground.

Quite contrary to this established smooth channel of economic growth and transition, the developing and under-developed parts of the world have been reflecting self-curated unique trends. First of all, the formal sector has not been able to expand as expected. This has led to limited employment opportunities coming from this sector to the ever-increasing populations and youth bulges. As an instinct to survive, people are forced to find some or other kind of employment. This has led to the creation of and the growth of the informal sector across these pockets of the world. The case of India is one of the fundamental ones. The Indian economy is characterized as having one of the most unique and large informal sectors across the world. 80% to 85% Indian population is estimated to be employed directly and indirectly in the informal sector.

Empirics show that Jammu and Kashmir has reflected growth in the informal sector over time. On the eve of the creation of the welfare state in the region headed by Sheikh M Abdullah, a socialistic model of development was brought into practice. It was called, ‘The Naya Kashmir Manifesto’. Among other things, one of the main agendas of the manifesto was to set in place a public sector-led industrialization process in J&K. As such, all the industries established under the Naya Kashmir Manifesto are a-priori classified as the formal sector firms. The political instability and fragility in the region kept on increasing and the focus of the government as predicted by theory and validated by practice shifted to peace restoration activities. This gave a back-lash to the public sector lead industrialization process in the region.

Steadily people began to look for alternative means of livelihood and subsistence. This set in place the informal sector across all the pockets of the region. The instability during the decades of 1990s, followed by various political and natural shocks during the 2000s made people realize that each person must be skilful and must practice the same in order to keep on bringing in sustenance money. The Kashmir division is particularly known to be diversified in various types of craft. From Ari work, through Tilla designing, people have bene utilising their skills to cash in some money. The wood-carving, Pashmina making and many distinct skills indigenous to Kashmir have been practiced in the informal sector by both men and women over time.

Of late there has been an Information Technology boom. The 2000 AD has seen a drastic revolutionising of the world through the spread of the World Wide Web. Mobile phone penetration has made the world an accessible global village. The social media applications of Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp have empowered people in a number of ways. People started off with sharing their pictures and highlighting their skills online on social media platforms. On receiving appreciation their confidence rose and soon people started to ask if some of their skills could be shared or used.

These platforms have greatly affected the economic well-being of the women located across various regions of Kashmir. Initially, women from different ages and social backgrounds strolled these platforms. Some of them enhanced their existing skills or learnt new ones online. This was followed by trying a hand at the commercialisation of the same, which in many cases has yielded a positive response. There are a number of examples that can be quoted as brief case studies in the present article.

The Instagram page by the handle of @makeupshakeupbynidanazir evolved over time. Nida has always been fond of make-up and lipsticks. As a child she always bought makeup and accessories from her pocket money. Applied the same on her dolls, herself, her cousins and her mother and grandmother occasionally. Over time she mastered the skill. From turning pages of magazines to learning online through YouTube etc. her skills enhanced steadily. It was her friend’s engagement and Nida offered to do her make-up. The outcomes were really appreciable. The friends decided to open up on online platform to display her make-up skills. The bookings soon followed and today Nida is a known name in the local make-up industry.

Saba married a doctor who lived in Saudi Arabia. Soon after her marriage, she moved to KSA with her husband. She always liked chocolates and began exploring the chocolates of KSA. Later in 2016, she shifted back to Kashmir with her kids. The kids and herself started missing the unique chocolates of KSA. One day Saba decided to curate her own. The chocolates turned out to be good. She shared the same with her sister and cousins. She was influenced to upload the same on Instagram. Steadily, the popularity of her chocolates grew and orders started to flow in. Today Saba is an established name in the curated and customized local chocolate industry.

There are innumerable other success stories which will be discussed steadily. But the underlying point of the present article is that the informal sector in Kashmir has been growing ever since the formal industrial set-up took a back-set during 1950s. Initially it was hidden and the returns were menial or limited. However, with the growth of the internet boom the women in the region have been able to harness the benefits and the informal sector has been growing steadily and sustainably. In Kashmir, this sector can be directly related to women’s empowerment and is expected to increase steadily over time.


The author teaches at the Department of Economics, Islamic University of Science and Technology, J&K and can be reached at

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Rural mart inaugurated under NABARD scheme



Rural mart inaugurated under NABARD


Shopian, Sept 20: National Bank for Agriculture & Rural Development (NABARD) has collaborated with National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) for extending the grant support to SHGs promoted by NRLM for setting up rural marts. These marts aim to promote and provide a platform for women’s self-help groups to market their handmade products.

The rural mart was inaugurated on 20 Sept 2022, at Shopian

Dr AK Sood, CGM NABARD J&K, SSP Shopian Tanushree, NRLM Reyaz Ahmad, and ADDC Shopian, Manzoor Hussain were present for the inauguration ceremony.

The mart will give numerous SHGs an opportunity to sell their homemade goods, including apparel, handloom and handicraft products, homemade food items, dry fruits, and more.
For a period of three years, NABARD has agreed to commit Rs 4.79 lakh as financial support for each rural market. NABARD will pay for the components, such as shop rent, salesman salaries, marketing costs, and other miscellaneous expenses.

Dr Sood, CGM NABARD, urged the female SHG members to use the mart as an opportunity for economic growth and to guarantee the continuity, quality, and quantity of local goods for both locals and tourists.
Additional Mission Director NRLM commended SHGs for taking such a unique initiative in the district.

“Rural mart to be run by female SHGs is the first step towards women empowerment in the district,” said Tanushree, SSP Shopian

Members of various SHGs from the district attended the event. Deputy General Manager NABARD Surinder Singh, District Development Manager NABARD Rouf Zargar, DPMs NRLM Uzma Mehraj and Irfan were also present on the occasion.

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Wood shortage, high prices due to Russia-Ukraine war affect timber business in Kashmir



Wood Shortage high prices

Malik Nisar

Srinagar: Every summer Altaf Ahmad 35, a small timber trader from north Kashmir Baramulla district used to be busy with his timber business, but this year instead of attending to customers at his unit, Altaf spends his day playing cricket in his village outskirts. The war in far-off lands has affected his business badly.

The prices of KD Wood mostly imported from Russia and Ukraine have soared many times, while the supply had dwindled.

“The Russia-Ukraine war has badly hit our timber business in Kashmir. This is the construction season here, we were expecting our business will double as there was lockdown from the past two seasons because of Covid19, but due to the war we are on the verge of complete breakdown this season too,” said Altaf Ahmad.

Altaf believes that their business is at a halt not only because of less supply of timber but also due to the less demand due to price rises as customers are reluctant to purchase at higher rates.

“There is the increase of 20% to 50% in the rates that has abruptly brought down the demand because customers are unable to purchase on such higher rates. We used to earn a good profit, but are presently on destruction mode where survival seems very much difficult,” said Altaf

Russia is one of the highest timber suppliers in the world and ranks as the seventh biggest exporter of forest products worldwide, which accounts for 22% of the global trade. And it clearly shows that the global market will continuously impact as long the Russia-Ukraine war continues. A country like China, which is in support of Russia in the conflict, has also been affected by limited trade sanctions as it depends on the import of timber, logs, and wood chips even for their domestic use.

Halted construction work

For Sajad, who was planning to complete the pending works of his newly built house and get married next year, the Russia- Ukraine conflict has brought a tsunami of hopelessness because the sudden surge in the timber rates has halted his plans of construction work and marriage back home, he feels it is unbearable to bear all the expenses in such a tough situation where other commodities all already in the surge.

Wood Shortage high prices

“The sudden increase in timber rates halted all my construction works because, I was expected to purchase timber say for example for Rs 1 lakh, now it will cost me Rs 1.5 lakhs an increase of fifty thousand. Now, I am too confused about whether to do it or not,” said Sajad Ahmad from the Bemina area of Srinagar.

 Showkat Ahmad another timber trader from North Kashmir says Ukraine timber was mostly used in Kashmir for the past couple of years as compared to Russian and German timber because Ukraine timber was available at cheaper rates. With a war going on in Ukraine the demand for German and Russia will arise, but it’s going very much costlier for customers.

“People prefer Ukraine timber because it’s easily affordable for them in contrast with German and Russian timber due to its low cost. The war in Ukraine has put everyone both (buyer and seller) in a catch22 situation because one doesn’t know what’s going to happen next,” says Showkat Ahmad who deals with the timber business for the past decade.

Business Kashmir visited various units in central and north Kashmir among them was Changa Timber Gallery, Sopore.

“I am into this business for the last one year but, I think this kind of situation will only benefit those dealers who have piles of stock available in the stores because they can increase rates on that stock which they have purchased at low rates earlier and a trader like me will go more into loss due to these unprecedented rates who’s new into this business and has very much less stock available at times,” says Aijaz Ahmad Changa, a 30-year-old BCom graduate.

Kashmiri Timber Traders mostly purchase timber from Gujarat and in Gujarat, they directly import the timber from Russia, Ukraine, and Germany. Business Kashmir contacted Singla Timbers Private Limited one of the oldest timber factories in Mithirhar, Gandhidham Gujarat who are in this business since 1946.

“The whole world is witnessing inflation it will remain for some time maybe for another year and there is also less supply of timber from the last few months because of that we are witnessing an increase in the rates of timber,” says Pulkit Singla director Singla Timbers.

“Kashmiri traders prefer Ukraine timber because of low price, but at the same time Ukraine timber also differs in quality in comparison to others.”

He says the lack of local wood production forces people to buy imported wood.

“India only imports 2% of the world produced timber. The local timber in India is not of that quality and one has gone through a long process before getting its access. The forests are like agricultural fields for countries like Russia and Ukraine, they cut the trees and do the plantation of it again and again but, in India, that thing is lacking. It’s also because of the weather,” he said.

Altaf and other timber traders in Kashmir are now waiting and praying for the end of the war in Ukraine so that their business will see that charm again.

“I only want the war in Ukraine to end, so that our miseries will also end,” concluded Altaf.

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