Senate body for proper mechanism to count TDPs in upcoming census

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ISLAMABAD, Feb 27 (APP): Senate Committee on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs, Statistics and Privatization Monday expressed reservations over certain aspects of the mechanism adopted by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) for conducting 6th population census from March 15.
The committee, which met here under the chairmanship of Saleem mandviwala held detailed discussions on ‘discrepancies’ in the census forms issued by PBS for upcoming population census of the country.
Senator Muhammad Saleh Shah suggested that a proper mechanism should be developed for counting the Temporarily Displaced Persons (TDPs) of Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) who were scattered throughout the country.
The committee members were of the view that since most of the TDPs were not settled in their native areas and were living in different parts of the country, the PBS should develop a proper form and distribute it all across the country to count TDPs.
The committee members said they were not opposed to the census as it was imperative for documenting population for various purpose, however said a mechanism should be developed to make it fair and transparent exercise.
Chairman of the committee said the reservations of the members of the committee would be forwarded to the house.
Responding to various queries of the senators, Chief Census Commissioner, Asif Bajwa informed the committee that the population census was being held following the international practices.
He said the FATA secretariat had reported that now there were no TDPs, so the count would be held in FATA like in other parts of the country, however added the issue was still under consideration.
He informed the committee that there would be fine Rs 50,000 and jail of 6 months for those providing wrong information.
He said 80 percent enumerators had been trained while training of remaining was still in progress.
Bajwa said as many as 52 million census forms had been printed to conduct the exercise smoothly.
To a question, he said all the census data would be compiled in Islamabad as per the past practices.
Earlier, a renowned census expert, Professor Mehtab S Karim while briefing the committee on various aspects of census and urged that the exercise should be conducted as Pakistan was among the four countries where the census had been delayed for such a long time.
Representatives of NADRA informed the committee that about 326,000 TDPs were registered with NADRA database.
Among others, the meeting of the committee was attended by Senators Saleem Mandviwala, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, Muhamamd Mohsin Khan Leghari, Kamil Ali Agha, Muhamamd Saleh Shah, Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Sardar Muhammad Azam Khan Musakhel and Muhammad Usman Khan Kakar.