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DCS surveys: Economic impact of Covid-19

By Sarah Hannan

The Department of Census and Statistics (DCS) is currently running online and on-ground surveys to determine the impact of Covid-19 on Sri Lanka’s economy under the industry, construction, trade, and other services sectors.

Speaking to The Morning, DCS Director – Industries, Trade, and Services U. Maheswaran said that the on-ground survey has been well under way since 19 June, while the online survey was made available on their website on 3 July.

“The on-ground survey is at present conducted by survey officers affiliated to district and divisional secretariats who have been instructed to reach out to all micro enterprises as well. While the online survey is open to all, businesses that have access to the internet can register to receive the relevant questionnaire by visiting https://data.statistics.gov.lk/covidimpact/.”

Adding that the on-ground survey data collection will be completed by 15 July and the online survey data collection will be run until 29 July, she shared that this is the only countrywide survey that is conducted by the Government of Sri Lanka, and the DCS will be looking to cover the impacts that the sectors faced since April 2019, up until the point the pandemic was announced.

The sectors will be answering a range of questions that would assist the DCS in determining which sectors would need the most amount of financial and logistical assistance to recover.

“The survey will also focus on job stability in each sector and look at the methods employed by each sector to stay afloat during socioeconomic crises such as terror attacks and worldwide pandemics. Furthermore, we will also ask companies to submit the steps they had taken and the additional facilities that they had to set up to commence work following the relaxation of lockdown,” Maheswaran elaborated.

The findings of the survey, recommendations, and next steps are scheduled to be published by the first week of September, the DCS revealed.