Govt committed to conduct 6th population census as soon as possible: Dar

ISLAMABAD, July 25 (APP): Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar Monday said it was the commitment of the PML-N government  to hold sixth population census as soon as possible.

The government knew the importance of population census and it  was equally cognizant of the fact that it must be fair, transparent  and credible, he added.

He was addressing the International Conference on Population Census organized by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) here in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

Dar said for achieving the objectives and ensuring security
of enumerators the government would require help from the Pakistan  Army.

As soon as the required number of army personnel were available,  the census would be started as the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) had already made all the arrangements to conduct the gigantic and challenging exercise.

He said it was the government of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) that conducted census in 1998 which was accepted and  appreciated by all the stakeholders.

That census was also held in a challenging situtation and the army was engaged in the exercise for  the first time.

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He said the 1998 model would be followed for the sixth census and army would again be engaged to hold the exercise in a more credible and transparent manner.

He said the population census was important to know about
the socio-economic conditions, ensure proper distribution of resources  among provinces and help economic development, besides devising  policies.

Talking about the the country’s economic condition, the
minister said the PML-N government had assumed power at a time when the economy was very weak. However due to its efforts, the economy was now moving on sustainable and inclusive growth path.

The country, he said, achieved 4.71 per cent growth in the
financial year 2015-16, the highest in eight years, while it
envisaged to achieve 5.5 per cent growth in the ongoing fiscal year.

Per capita income also witnessed growth of 17 per cent in terms  of dollar and 34 per cent in terms of rupee while inflation was at  3 per cent, the lowest in the country’s history, he added.

The minister said revenue collection had increased by
16 per cent, forex reserves risen to $23.08 billion from $6
billion and the stock exchange witnessed considerable performance during the last three years.

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Later talking to media, Ishaq Dar said as many as 24 names
were forwarded to the Parliamentary Committee by the government and opposition for appointment of members for the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).

The committee had conveyed its decision to the Prime Minister and the announcement in that regard would be made soon, he added.

To a question, the minister said he did not have any
undeclared assets. He had not made embezzlement of even a  single penny during his four terms in public office, he added.

Earlier speaking on the occasion, PBS Chief Statistician
Asif Bajwa informed the participants about the activities and census preparations of the Bureau. The PBS had made all the arrangements  to conduct census. As and when the security measures were  finalized, it would start the exercise.

UNFPA Representative Hassan Mohtashami expressed the hope  that the conference would be helpful for conducting the census in  a more effective and credible manner.