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ISLAMABAD: First meeting of the Census Monitoring Committee constituted in pursuance of decision taken in 49th meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) held on 13th January, 2022 to oversee/ monitor census activities to ensure an expeditious, transparent and credible census operation was held on 10th May, 2022 under chair of Dr Jehanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (DCPC) at National Census Coordination Centre PBS HQs Islamabad.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is working extensively to meet the challenging timelines to conduct first-ever digital census of Pakistan.

Main objective of the meeting was to review the progress of work on Population & Housing Census 2022 and to decide the way forward to smoothly meet the timelines to complete census. The meeting was attended by Chief Secretaries of all provinces/ regions with relevant secretaries, Deputy Commissioner Islamabad, DG Military Operations Directorate, Chairman NADRA, MD NTC and senior officers from Education, Health, Finance, and PBS.

Dr Jehanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, emphasised that population census is an important and critical exercise with challenging timelines, therefore serious efforts are needed to bring transparency and reliability in the process. Dr Naeemuz Zafar, Chief Statistician (PBS) gave the background of the efforts made by PBS for first ever Digital Census and apprised that cooperation and support of collaborating partners is needed to accomplish this gigantic task. Muhammad Sarwar Gondal, Member (Support Services) sensitized the relevant departments by presenting the progress and issues of PBS related to census process. The issues include selection of master trainers and training venues, training of trainers and enumerators, freezing of boundaries, progress of verification of frames/maps, requirements for Census support centres, deployment of field staff and security of field staff etc.

Participants from other Departments and provinces were also invited to share their point 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 to form working Committees for smooth functioning of Census process. All the Chief Secretaries assured their cooperation to fulfill this National Task.

This meeting was an effort of PBS to involve all stakeholders from Planning of Census to finalization of results and to meet the timelines to up-date the constituencies by Election Commission for upcoming General Elections. Due to presence of relevant persons from provinces and departments, the meeting proved to be the best forum to resolve issues and queries of all Departments related to census process and present progress and ambiguities of PBS to all concerns well before time. It was decided to hire competent staff for training and enumeration.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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