ISLAMABAD PR - The second meeting of the Census Monitoring Committee to oversee/monitor census activities to ensure an expeditious, transparent and credible census operation was held on 26th July 26, 2022 under chair of Ahsan Iqbal, Deputy Chairman Planning Commission (DCPC) at Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Pak Secretariat Islamabad. The main objective of the meeting was to review progress of the Pilot Census. The meeting was attended by chief secretaries of all provinces/regions with relevant secretaries, Additional Commissioner Islamabad, DG Military Operations Directorate, Chairman NADRA, MD NTC and senior officers from education, local government, finance and PBS.

Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister/Deputy Chairman Planning Commission, emphasised that the population census is an important and critical exercise so it should be completed in February 2023 by utilising all possible resources. He directed the chief secretaries to assure their full cooperation and give full support to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics in the process to make this census successful. He also directed NADRA that they should expedite the process of procurement of tablets and accessories for conduct of digital census as the exercise of paramount importance due to linkages with resource allocation and delimitation of constituencies. Any delay in the process will create constitutional crises as conduct of next general election of 2023 depends of the census 2022. He appreciated the role of Pak Army in this process and emphasised to provide fool proof security to the enumerators in this whole census process. He also assured full support of government for successful conduct of this gigantic task.

Meeting reviews progress on expeditious, transparent census operation

Dr Naeem-uz-Zafar, Chief Statistician, sensitized the relevant departments by presenting the progress and issues of PBS related to Pilot Census. He explained that PBS has started Pilot Census of 7th Population & Housing Census-2022 for testing tools, technology, field operation & security mechanism, communication strategy etc in 33 selected administrative districts (417 Blocks) wef 20th July, 2022 all over Pakistan, including AJK and GB. Training to enumerators for the Pilot Census was imparted at 27 stations in Pakistan.

For the field operation the responsibility of provision of security rest with Armed Forces with the involvement of Civil Armed Forces and police of respective government. NADRA will provide tablets and census software, however, data infrastructure (Computing and storage) is the responsibility of National Telecom Corporation (NTC). Similarly, SUPARCO is also awarded contract for the provision of high resolution imagery for coverage and Geo Tagging.