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February 17, 2017

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PBS plans to share census results with ECP for next general polls

PBS plans to share census results with ECP for next general polls

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) plans to share Census Summary Results (CSR) with the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for delimitation exercise to allocate the National Assembly and provincial assemblies seats for the purpose of next general elections after seeking formal approval from the Council of Common Interest (CCI) under chairmanship of prime minister.  “The provisional summary results of census will be available before end of July this year 2017 after which it can be shared with the ECP for delimitation purposes on block wise basis after seeking approval from the government and subsequently from the CCI within this calendar year, having sufficient timeframe for them to accomplish the task of fixing seats for NA or provincial assemblies,” Pakistan’s Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa told in an exclusive more than one-hour-long interview with The News here at the PBS Headquarters on Thursday afternoon.

He said that the government decided to invite international observers for ensuring credibility and reliability of the upcoming census exercise in the country. The two-phased census will be accomplished till May 25, 2017 and its first phase will be kick-started from March 15, 2017 in selected districts of all parts of the country. 

He said that they were in the process of printing 55 million forms for holding the population census having barcode and reference number at each form and UNFPA had already provided 42 million forms while remaining 13 million forms were in the process of printing from Pakistan Security Printing Corporation.

Dwelling upon various issues related to upcoming population census starting from March 15, 2017 in two phases, the PBS chief said that they sought Rs30 billion from the government for accomplishing census operation this time under which no one would be left out and everyone would be counted present in the country on declared Census Reference Day on March 18, 2017 including Afghans, Biharis or everyone and confidentiality of data would be protected at all costs. 

The census enumerators, he said, would even go into Diplomatic Enclave to count diplomats, living in camps and even homeless or gypsies present in the country.

The Census (Population & Housing) is a federal subject as listed at Sl. NO. 38 of Federal Legislation list, Part-1, Fourth Schedule, 1973 Constitution of Pakistan. The seats in the National Assembly are allocated to each province/Fata and federal territory on the basis of the population in accordance with the last preceding census officially published under Article-51(3) of the Constitution. Further, distribution of funds between the Federation and the provinces are made through National Finance Commission. Article-160(2) speaks about the formation of the National Finance Commission which also uses census figures. The quota for recruitment to federal posts is also worked out on the basis of population ratios as given by the census.

Establishment Division’s O.M. No. 8/9/72, TRV, dated 31st August, 1973, refers in this regard. First 5 censuses were undertaken with the legal cover of ‘Census Ordinance, 1959’ amended from time to time. The upcoming 6th Population and Housing census will be conducted under the legal cover of General Statistics (Re-organisation) Act, 2011.

Bajwa said that the PBS was providing training to 118,000 enumerators at each district and tehsil levels all across the country which would be completed on March 4, 2017. He said that the PBS declared Census Headquarters at district levels at Balochistan, AJK and Gilgit-Baltistan and declared tehsils as headquarters at Punjab, Sindh and KP. 

He said that the PBS distributed the country into 1,68,712 blocks and two blocks would be done by each enumerator. The Armed Forces, he said, had spared 200,000 troops and 42,000 personnel would be deputed along with enumerators to supervise the process of filling forms for house listing and counting of population. The remaining army personnel would be deployed for providing foolproof security and dispatching of filled forms to the provincial and federal headquarters.

He said that they declared March 18, 2017 as Census Reference Day as new born baby on March 19 would not be counted or anyone died after declared reference day would not be counted. 

Any person who is living abroad from last six months would not be counted in the upcoming census, he said and added that the secrecy of personal data gathered through this exercise would be protected at all costs. The processing of census data would be done at centralised headquarters of the PBS and efforts would be made to prepare detailed report at district, provincial and census report of Pakistan would be made available within one year probably by July 2018, he concluded. 

 

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