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
- 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 email@example.com
Global eCommerce boom and local traders of Kashmir
A Structural Shift in the Market Preferences
Dhaar Mehak M
Tabeen J Wali
The global eCommerce market was expected to be worth a total of $5.7 trillion by the end of 2022. That figure is estimated to grow over the next few years; exhibiting the fact that borderless eCommerce is becoming a profitable option for online retailers. It is giving a market space to one and all with a potential or product to sell. Only two years ago, 17.8% of sales globally were made from online purchases. That number is again expected to reach 20.8% by the end of 2023; a 2 percentage point increase in eCommerce market share. This growth is expected to continue, reaching 23% by 2025, translating to an increase of 5.2 percentage points in just five years.
Economic projections and forecasts predict the global retail sales growth to rise even further and take up more retail market share. According to research completed by eMarketer and Statista, online retail sales will reach $6.51 trillion by 2023, with eCommerce websites taking up 22.3% of total retail sales. Although retail has had it tough since 2020, every national market covered by eMarketer saw double-digit eCommerce growth. The trend continues globally: Latin America (including Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and Mexico) saw $104 billion in eCommerce sales in 2022, up 22.4% from $85 billion in 2021. The UK is forecasted to continuously increase by $85.7 billion (+42.88%) within the next years.
China continues to lead the global eCommerce market, accounting for 46.3% of all retail eCommerce sales worldwide, with total online sales just over the $2.8 trillion mark in 2022. It also has the world’s most digital buyers, 842.1 million, representing 39.4% of the global total. The US eCommerce market is forecasted to reach more than $904.9 billion in 2022, a little over a third of China’s. After China and the US, the third-largest eCommerce market is the United Kingdom, taking up 4.8% of the retail eCommerce sales share. The UK is followed by Japan (3%) and South Korea (2.5%). The top five eCommerce markets haven’t changed since 2018. Trends from eMarketer suggest that these markets will stay in the top five until 2025.
While the whole world has been witnessing the structural transformation and shift in terms of market transformations from retailing to online shopping, the Indian economy has been a part of the process. In light of the same, the Jammu and Kashmir economy has had an equal and equally growing participation in the same. The advent of the internet and the arrival of eCommerce technology in the lives of average Kashmiris have changed the shopping preferences and experiences of the locals. People no longer have to battle issues like vehicular traffic on the roads or wait in queues for long hours. Accredited to the growth of eCommerce technology, locals have been empowered to shop anywhere-anytime just at the click of a button.
However, in the recent past, there was no (or very limited) concept of eCommerce in Kashmir. Smartphone availability to the general public was rare. The masses were barely aware about the internet facilities and global communication channels. There was no idea of online shopping, online transactions, etc. With time and the availability of the internet along with the growing mobile phone penetration, eCommerce made its presence felt in the valley. However, due to slower internet connection issues like 2G and lack of awareness, people initially had apprehensions and thus were afraid of buying things online.
Tracing the roots and history of online shopping awareness in J&K, it dates back to the year 2008 when the mobile internet was making its headway into the valley. People were gaining affordable and available access to wireless internet. It was around the same time that after bearing a lot of hardships with sorting out the supply chains Flipkart became operational and function in the region. the initial years were tough and hard but the company stood steadfast. It took some time for Flipkart to cut through lots of hurdles alone and get to success. Being the only player in the online market in the region for quite some time it was a big deal to keep surviving and floating. But the outcomes were a success.
Steadily as people gain access to quality internet services and advanced smartphone technology the word spread. It was observed that doorstep delivery was actually a reality. At the same time, the quality of the delivery matched the promises of the website. The trust factor got built. Witnessing optimism within the J&K market, other companies like Amazon, SnapDeal, and other local online stores, etc., started jumping in to tap into the growing eCommerce market. The consumers got the opportunity of choosing from a wide range of products. Not only that, discounts and sales from time to time offer big benefits to consumers.
All these factors have been contributing towards a structural market shift. People from across J&K have been moving from in-person retail shopping to online shopping. While the consumers in the region have surely benefitted both in terms of utility/satisfaction and profit maximization, the retailers have been losing.
The J&K economy is predominantly characterized as a consumer economy. The characteristics of being a producer and self-sufficient economy have been limited and rather absent for a long time. It is the retailer of J&K, who has been at the losing end on account of the growth of the online markets. Retailing has been one of the most common business ventures of people across the region of J&K. Setting up of the shops and selling various items has been a known venture. People for generations have been relying on this activity. Lately, the structural change is challenging this segment of J&K businessmen and the immediate solution visible is evolution. These businessmen, particularly retailers, need to adjust to the changing market and make themselves competitive enough to compete with global online sellers. The only other option is to let the business supper, deteriorate and shut down.
Women shaping informal sector in Kashmir
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Rural mart inaugurated under NABARD scheme
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.
Slump in Dairy Business
NIRF-2023 ranking: SKUAST-K 9th best agri institute in country
Classrooms brim with learning anew
J&K Solar Expo-2023 begins at Kashmir Haat
SKUAST-K developed maize variety released at national level
Promoting diversity, equity and inclusiveness in veterinary profession
Global eCommerce boom and local traders of Kashmir
Levying property tax for creation of better infrastructure: SMC Commissioner
Industrial Association Lassipora dismayed over ‘unprofessional behaviour’ of J&K Bank branch manager
SKUAST-K launches anticancer functional foods startup
Industry3 years ago
FCIK hails LG Sinha for creating entrepreneur-friendly industrial ecosystem
Energy3 years ago
Lt Governor discusses J&K power scenario with experts
Infra2 years ago
SKUAST-K bags EU project for urban green infrastructure
AgriBiz2 years ago
SKUAST-K to set up 3 honey testing labs in Kashmir
Careers3 years ago
SKUAST-K holds career counselling at Wadura campus
Economy3 years ago
Lt Governor announces new industrial policy for J&K
Industry3 years ago
Imran Murtaza takes oath as president Industrial Association Khunmoh
Tech3 years ago
NIT Srinagar launches PG course in ‘Technology, Innovation, and Entrepreneurial Dynamics’