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China revises regulations on economic census

BEIJING (Xinhua): The Chinese government has revised regulations on national economic census to guarantee the accuracy and timeliness of economic data, government officials said Friday.

Some articles in the regulations on national economic census decree, taking effect in 2004, need revision, including those concerning the range and methods of the census as well as the duties and working procedures of census agencies, so that they conform to the current conditions, said unidentified officials from the Ministry of Justice and National Bureau of Statistics.

The State Council announced the revised regulations on Thursday.

The revision was also aimed at keeping the regulations in line with the Statistics Law, which was revised in 2009, according to the officials.

Under the current regulations, statistics on the self-employed can be compiled through sampling surveys. The revision puts small and micro businesses in the same category since, as due to their huge number, it is very difficult and costly to collect data through door-to-door visits of all firms, the officials said.

The revision also allows statistics agencies to collect data through digital forms filled on site or online, instead of hand-written forms.

The revised rules add articles to protect privacy of businesses in the census. Statistics agencies and their staff are required to keep confidentiality of state secrets, business secrets and personal information obtained in the census.

China will launch the fourth national economic census this year, following three censuses in 2004, 2008 and 2013.

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