Senate body calls for probe into authenticity of census results

The Senate Committee on Privatisation and Statistics on Tuesday called for a parliamentary probe into authenticity of the results of 6th Population and Housing Census 2017.

The committee also recommended for constitution of a committee of Members of Parliament (MPs) to analyse the authenticity of census process and data processing besides recommending for speeding up the census data compilation process by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

The meeting of the committee was held at the headquarters of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) under the chairmanship of Senator Mohsin Aziz.

Among others, it was attended by Senator Hamza, Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Khushbakht Shujat, Senator Nasreen Jalil and Senator Hari Ram and top officials of the bureau.

Mohshin Aziz said that it was time to decide way forward as there were reservations over the census results. “How to move forward (for elections) when there is hue and cry shown towards the accuracy of data,” he remarked.

He was of the view that the MPs committee would visit PBS and check the process of data compilation and suggest if there was any need for improvement. He was of the view that the PBS should install more scanners and computers to speed up its data compilation process.

Meanwhile, Senator Sherry Rehman pointed out towards a basic flaw in the census mechanism saying that counterfoil was missing in the mechanism while collecting the census data. However, the PBS officials clarified that the design of census was developed by a technical committee which comprised of demographers and technical experts.

The committee was also of the view that the PBS should establish its offices in all the provinces so that if people have any complaint about the collection of data that could be rectified.

Meanwhile, Chief Census Commissioner Asif Bajwa gave a detailed presentation to the committee clarifying various issues that had been the basis of controversies. He informed the committee that there might be some variation in the provisional and final data.

He said that as per the international standard, five per cent variation was standard however expressed the hope that it would be round about 1.5 against the variation of 1.3 per cent recorded in 1998 census.

He informed the committee that based on the current population growth the population of the country would double by 2032.

Earlier, the committee members also visited the data processing and compilation units of PBS.

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