ISLAMABAD: The Governing Council of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) in its 8th meeting held here on Wednesday with Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar in the chair was informed that the Population and Housing Census will be conducted in March 2016 across the country at the cost of Rs14.5 billion that will be shared by the provinces.
After the adoption of the agenda, the chief statistician or secretary of the governing council briefed the meeting about the implementation status of the decisions taken in the last meeting. The conduct of population & housing census in the country was the vital item in the agenda to be discussed.
The secretary informed the house that the CCI in its meeting held on March 18, 2015 under the chairmanship of the prime minister approved the conduct of the population census in March-2016 with the assistance of armed forces.
The proposed budget for the population and housing census to the tune of Rs14.5 billion was approved which will be shared by the provinces. The secretary informed that the PBS has initiated a number of preparatory actions and prepared activity calendar by fixing the time schedule of each activity with its target dates.
The Governing Council approved the activity calendar in the meeting with slight changes in the completion dates.
The preliminary results of the population census will be available on June 16. The chair desired that all other activities including preparation of district-wise data/reports might be completed up to December 2017.The meeting participants were briefed about the methodology to be used in the census-2016 along with major questions to be asked in the census operation.
The chair desired that a comparative analysis of methodology used in the 1998-census and proposed for census-2016 may be made and the same may be presented in the next meeting of the governing council to avoid any loophole in the process. A proposal was presented to set up a National Census Apex Committee.
The chair approved the composition of the proposed committee. The chair also desired that technical committees on various subjects might be formed separately by including experts of relevant fields and members of the Governing Council.
The PBS may bring their composition in the next meeting for approval. The chair also desired that consultative meetings might be held with the experts within the country and at international level to ensure a successful census.
The budget for the census was presented. The Governing Council agreed to the broad allocation proposed. The finance secretary also assured that adequate funds would be made available as and when required.
The chair desired that it should be ensured that no census activities should be hampered due to non-availability of financial resources in time. The chair categorically directed that funds required for the purpose would be provided as demanded.
Briefings on the conduct of agriculture, livestock and machinery census and on the re-basing of national accounts were made. The Governing Council expressed satisfaction on the progress however; PBS was asked to ensure that these actions should not hinder the census-2016.
Dr. Zeba Sathar, Member, Governing Council/Chairperson of the Review Committee on General Statistics (Re-organisation) Act, 2011 informed the house that the Review Committee was of the view that no major changes are required in the Act at this stage. However, if issues arise at any stage the same could be resolved through amendments in the draft Governing Council (Procedure & Conduct of Business) Rules.