The Central Statistics Organization, Ministry of Planning and Programme Implementation, Government of India has been making concerted efforts in developing sound and reliable database on different areas of National Statistical System. A well developed statistical sub-system exists for the organized sectors of the economy. The data gaps in the unorganized sectors continue to exist which has been a problem for statisticians, planners and policy makers. A well known method of bridging the data gap in the unorganized sector is through periodic sample surveys. To conduct systematic sample survey faces many methodological problems. One of the major problems in conducting such detailed sample surveys is the absence of a sampling frame. Economic Census is an operation by which the required data for constructing sample frame is canvassed. Keeping in view the urgency and need, an integrated approach to collect the basic information was felt and a Central Plan Scheme "Economic Census and Survey was launched by the Central Statistical Organization in 1976. The first Economic Census was conducted in 1977 and since then, five more Economic Census has been conducted in the years 1980, 1990, 1998, 2005 and 2013.
The basic necessity required for sound and systematic planning in the state/country is reliable and timely database on agricultural and non-Agricultural sectors of the economy especially at micro level. Data on agricultural sector and organised non-agriculture sector are collected at regular intervals but there are considerable data gaps in respect of unorganized non-agricultural sector, although this sector plays a great role by contributing towards the gross domestic product and also by generating high degree of employment.
The Economic Census (EC) is the official count of all agricultural and non-agricultural entrepreneurial units engaged in the production or distribution of goods and services not for the sole purpose of own consumption excepting those engaged in crop production and plantation located within the geographical boundary of the country/state at a given period. In this census, all registered as well as non registered enterprises are covered. Even enterprises without any premises or fixed location are covered at the place of residence of the owner. Information relating to proprietary based on the type of ownership of an enterprise viz; Government and PSU's, Pvt. Non-Profit Institution, Private Proprietary, Pvt. Partnership, Pvt. Corporate Non-Financial, Pvt. Corporate Financial and Pvt. Co-operative are covered in this census. The Economic Census provides essential data on number and distribution of enterprises engaged in different types of economic activities, which forms the base for detailed follow-up surveys.
In Sikkim, Department of Economics, Statistics, Monitoring and Evaluation is the Nodal department to carry out the Economic Censuses. Since the establishment of the office in 1978, Sikkim has participated in 5 ECs.
First Economic Census to Fourth Economic Census
Sikkim could not participate in the 1st EC as the required statistical infrastructure was not in place. Since then, Sikkim has been participating in all the ECs - 2nd EC of 1980, 3rd EC of 1990, 4th EC of 1998, 5th EC of 2005 and 6th EC of 2013. The results of the last EC is being compiled and has been sent to MOSPI, GOI for their comments and approval.
Fifth Economic Census 2005
The 5th EC was undertaken by the department under the aegis of MOSPI, GOI and it covered the entire geographical area of Sikkim. Like the 4th EC, the 5th EC targeted all the entrepreneurial units engaged in economic activity that added value to the state's economy. It covered both the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors with items of information being collected like location, premises status, particulars of activity, type of ownerships, social group of owner, total number of workers by type, type of enterprises, power/fuel used, nature of operation, source of finance, type of registration, etc.