Economic census thrown out of gear

Fishing activities at Mangaluru Fishing Harbour, in Mangaluru on November 11, 2018. PHOTO: H_S_MANJUNATH \ THE HINDU

Fishing activities at Mangaluru Fishing Harbour, in Mangaluru on November 11, 2018. PHOTO: H_S_MANJUNATH \ THE HINDU   | Photo Credit: H_S_Manjunath

In several districts, including Bengaluru urban and rural, the survey is yet to start

The economic census, which is already behind schedule in Karnataka, will be delayed further with the COVID-19 outbreak. Incidentally, the pandemic has also put a break on the start of the first phase of Census 2020.

The economic census, which was expected to be completed by the end of March, is now staring at an indefinite extension.

An important indicator for the country’s growth, the economic survey throws up figures on employment, industries, industrial clusters, and the consumption rate of people in the country. The seventh economic survey — initiated by the Union Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation — was under progress when the national lockdown was put in place. The last economic survey was conducted in 2013.

“Karnataka was already lagging behind schedule. The census has been halted now due to the outbreak. Now we estimate it may take over a year to complete and that too as and when we can re-start the work,” said a senior official in Directorate of Economics and Statistics.

In fact, in several districts across the State, including the crucial districts of Bengaluru urban and Bengaluru rural, the survey has not begun. In other districts, the progress has been poor at 15% in Mysuru and 21% in Tumakuru, while it hovers around the highest of 30% in coastal districts of Dakshina Kannada, Uttara Kannada, and Udupi. “In several other districts, the situation is no better but work has started at least,” he said.

The senior official said: “However, even before the outbreak was reported, the census had been facing problems in several minority dominated areas where residents refused to share data with the enumerators.”

According to him the outpour over CAA/NPR/NRC since December had affected the enumeration in several districts, and a large number from minority communities have refused to share data. “This refusal, along with delay in collecting the data could lead to huge problems. We believe that the economy and economic activities will throw up a different picture once the COVID-19 scare declines and lives become normal,” he added.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 6:51:54 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/economic-census-thrown-out-of-gear/article31194155.ece

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