I REFER to a report by Fahim Zaman regarding the population census (Sept 1) and refute the writer’s contention that the population and housing census-2016 is likely to be delayed or even scrapped.
The writer focuses on the single point that the census funds for the first quarter have not yet been released to the Pakistan Bureau of Census and then proceeds to assume that the ‘census has been scrapped’.
The required funds for the first quarter are under process and expected to be released shortly. The writer ignores the fact that there are a host of activities that are required for the conduct of such a large operation and many do not require upfront funds. These pertain to planning, coordination, resource requirements and assessment of available resources. These activities are already in hand.
Any change in the schedule or the scrapping of the census will need a decision by the Council of Common Interests. There is no such proposal on the cards.
The government’s commitment is reflected in the fact that a sum of Rs14.5bn has been earmarked as block provision and is available when needed.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics
Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2015