Next general elections will be held based on new census results: Assad
ISLAMABAD: Unveiling the roadmap for the 7th Digital Population and Housing Census, Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said on Tuesday that the final results of the 7th Digital Population and Housing Census would be announced by December 2022 and that new elections would be based on new census results.
He said that in May-June this year, the government will conduct a pilot test of the census to test the whole process of risk management and disaster recovery, and for the successful conduct of the digital census.
In September-December he said the main fieldwork would take place while in November the post-sampling count would be done.
Speaking to the media here before inaugurating the National Census Coordination Center (N3C) at the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), Asad Umar said that for the first time in history, the government will hold a digital census using modern technology to save time and ensure data transparency and accuracy.
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He said that in the current year’s budget, an amount of Rs 5 billion has been allocated for the census while the remaining budget will be allocated in the coming financial year.
The minister added that around Rs 10 billion would be spent on purchasing software and hardware for conducting the digital census.
PBS Chief Statistician, Dr. Naeem Zafar, speaking on the planning and operation of the upcoming digital census, said that the configuration of the N3C would be led by the Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission with provincial/regional representatives and law enforcement.
He said Census Support Centers were being set up in all 614 Tehsils nationwide to carry out the first ever digital census and avoid complications.
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Dedicated help desks at Tehsil level would ensure 24/7 availability of the system and support to end users and investigators in the field. The Census Support Centers would be equipped with online monitoring dashboards and would also function as control rooms and complaints investigation offices.
Briefed on the roadmap for the 7th Population and Housing Census, the Chief Statistician indicated that the staff appointment exercise will be held in March 2022 while the training of field staff for the pilot will take place. would do from April 15, 2022 to April 30. 2022.
Similarly, the pilot census (about 2,000 blocks) would be held from May 15 to June 15, while the enumeration work (first stage of self-census) would take place from July 15 to July 30, 2022.
The house registration operation (first block) would be held from August 01 to August 03 and the second block operation would be held from August 16 to 18.
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The first block face-to-face interviews would take place from August 4-15 and the second block interviews would take place from August 19-31, 2022.
Data processing and summary results would be finalized in September-October and the post-censal survey would take place in November.
The PBS would deliver the summary of results to the Election Commission of Pakistan on December 31, 2022.
Data cleaning, imputation rules and detailed results would be announced in January-February 2023.
Planning Minister Asad Umar said that in the current era of modern technology, it is vital to hold the census more often compared to the past when the census was held with a huge gap of 15 to 18 years.
He regretted that one of the most important activities which was the basic pillar of county planning and development was not given due importance in the past.
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He said that without the transparent and timely conduct of the population census, the distribution of resources among the different regions of the country would not be ensured.
He said that for this exercise to succeed, the coordination of the provinces was essential.
He also asked PBS management to share everything about the 7th population census with the media to ensure transparency and identify any downsides.
In response to a question, the Minister said that the digital system would be completely secure as it would not be internet-based and that to further ensure security, all relevant stakeholders including the Ministry of IT, NTC, NRTG, had been taken into account.
He said the final census results would be announced in December this year, so the government would have another 6-7 months to complete the demarcation process.
He said it was the requirement of the constitution of Pakistan to hold the election based on the latest population and housing census.
When asked about the opposition’s call for the long march and vote of no confidence in parliament, the minister said the government was not taking these opposition calls seriously as it had already given several dates but had failed in his plans and this time the same would happen.