PBS starts pilot census in 33 administrative districts

PBS starts pilot census in 33 administrative districts
ISLAMABAD: July 26 - Minister of Planning, Development and special initiative Ahsan Iqbal chair a meeting of Census Monetary Committee. APP

ISLAMABAD, Jul 26 (APP): The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has started the Pilot Census of 7th Population and Housing Census-2022 for testing tools, technology, field operation and security mechanism, communication strategy, etc. in 33 selected administrative districts (417 blocks) across the country, including Azad Jammu & Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

Chief Statistician Dr Naeem uz Zafar told this to the second meeting of Census Monitoring Committee held here Tuesday. Federal Minister for Planning Ahsan Iqbal presided over the meeting.

Dr Naeem said training to enumerators for the pilot census was imparted at 27 stations in the country.

He said for the field operation, “the responsibility of provision of security rests with the armed forces with the involvement of the civil armed forces and police of the respective government”.

He said the National Database Registration Authority would provide tablets, while census software, however, data infrastructure (computing and storage) was the responsibility of the National Telecom Corporation (NTC). Similarly, SUPARCO was also awarded the contract for the provision of high-resolution imagery for coverage and geo-tagging.

He said the AJK state had informed that the population data of the refugees living in Pakistan was highly desirable for academic/ political purposes to study the effects of Indian subjugation and perpetual denial of the right to self-determination of the people of the State of Jammu and Kashmir; which could also be safely used for the purposes of electoral rolls of constituencies of AJK Legislative Assembly and for planning purposes as well.

“Therefore, in the 7th Population and Housing Census-2022, the data of refugees living in Pakistan may be collected through the addition of a column in the existing data collection form,” he added.

The meeting was attended by chief secretaries of all provinces/ regions with relevant secretaries, Additional Commissioner Islamabad, Director General Military Operations Directorate, NADRA chairman, NTC managing director, and senior officers from education, local government, finance, and PBS.

Ahsan Iqbal emphasized that the population census was an important and critical exercise so it should be completed in February 2023 by utilizing all the possible resources.

He directed the chief secretaries to assure their full cooperation and give full support to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to make the census successful.

He also directed NADRA to expedite the process of procurement of tablets and accessories for the conduct of digital census as the exercise was of paramount importance due to linkages with resource allocation and delimitation of constituencies.

Any delay in the process would create constitutional crises as the conduct of the next general election of 2023 depended on the census of 2022, he added.

The minister appreciated the role of the Pak Army in the process and emphasized on providing foolproof security to the enumerators during the whole census process. He also assured full support of the government for the successful conduct of the gigantic task.

Participants from other departments and provinces were also invited to share their points of view and all the queries raised by provinces were addressed. The participants appreciated the efforts of PBS to bring transparency and confidentiality and suggested forming working committees for the smooth functioning of the census process.

All the chief secretaries assured their cooperation to fulfill the national task.