In a first, economic census to count businesses of transgenders

Surabhi Posted online: Tuesday, Nov 05, 2013 at 0000 hrs
New Delhi : For the first time, the government is doing a headcount of businesses run by members of the transgender community. The exercise is a part of the sixth economic census that counts the number of establishments in the country.

The issue had cropped up during national level discussions where some states and activists sought this data. The aim was to get a gender dimension of entrepreneurship, said a government official.

“Male and female is a generic classification followed for a long time. It is required for a variety of purposes including parameters such as gender dimension of entrepreneurship. Coding systems have to include all possible responses,” said T C A Anant, secretary, ministry of statistics and programme implementation.

Besides counting the number of establishments in the country, the economic census also collects data on the identity of the owner of the establishment. These include parameters such as gender, social group or caste — Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe, OBC and others — as well as the religion of the owners.

Similarly, the census will also collect data on the gender of workers employed with all establishments by including a category for transgenders. Transgenders, according to the economic census, would include eunuchs and hermaphrodites, notes the census manual prepared for the survey.

The economic census takes ahead the initiative of the decennial census of 2011 that had a separate category of “other” in the gender section along with “male” and “female”.

The results of the sixth economic census started last year are likely to be released early next year. “Field work in most states for collection of data is over. We will be starting with tabulation of data some time soon,” said Anant.

The results of the economic census will help in analysing the economy for policy planning as well as planning to revisit the structure and parameters of national accounts, annual survey of industries, etc. The last such exercise was carried out nearly a decade ago in 2005.