CCI postpones population census

Published March 1, 2016
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets the four chief ministers and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister House on Monday.—INP
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif meets the four chief ministers and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar at the Prime Minister House on Monday.—INP

ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests has decided to postpone the population and housing census.

A meeting of the CCI on Monday, presided over by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and attended by the four chief ministers, took the decision unanimously.

A statement issued by the prime minister’s secretariat said a fresh date for conducting the census would be announced after consultations with the stakeholders.

Sources said the provinces had objected to the presence of Afghan refugees and illegal immigrants in the country. Traditionally, Sindh and Balochistan don’t welcome migration of Pakhtuns to these provinces, but Chief Ministers Qaim Ali Shah and Sanaullah Khan Zehri used the word Afghans, and not Pakhtuns, during the meeting.

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khattak called for repatriation of Afghan refugees living in the province.

The sources said Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif remained silent despite the fact that his province had a sizable presence of both Pakhtuns and Afghans.

Statistics Division Secretary Shahid Hussain Asad said the country had been divided into 166,819 blocks for which staff of 210,239 heads was required.

The meeting was informed that deployment of the army for conducting the census throughout the country in March/April was not possible because the armed forces were engaged in the Zarb-i-Azb operation.

The CCI asked the Bureau of Statistics to consult the armed forces about availability of the required human resource and propose a new date for the census.

According to an official, the bureau proposed to conduct the census on province-wise bases or on the pattern of local body elections, but “nobody supported the proposal”.

The official said the number of soldiers required for the house-to-house data collection was not a problem, but the back-up for ensuring security of soldiers was an issue.

Another official said the army had also suggested holding of the census in phases.

The CCI approved setting up of an inquiry commission to fix responsibility for alleged illegalities in the Kacchi Canal Project.

The commission will be headed by a retired judge of Supreme or High Court and secretaries of water and power, planning and finance ministries will be its members.

The meeting was informed that initially the project was approved by Ecnec at a cost of Rs27.5 billion in 2003. Later the PC-I was revised with a cost of Rs57.7bn. The project was started prior to the approval of feasibility study and PC-I.

The prime minister said a fresh feasibility study, along with implementation plan, shall be prepared immediately.

The next CCI meeting on March 25 would discuss the one-item agenda of the National Flood Protection Plan-IV (2015-25). A committee comprising ministers of water and power and climate change and the four chief ministers will present the plan.

The CCI approved the draft of the Securities and Exchange Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

Published in Dawn, March 1st, 2016


A velvet glove

A velvet glove

The general didn’t have an easy task when he took over, but in retrospect, he managed it rather well.


Updated 24 May, 2022

Marching in May

MORE unrest. That is the forecast for the weeks ahead as the PTI formally proceeds with its planned march on...
24 May, 2022

Policy rate hike

THE State Bank has raised its policy rate by 150bps to 13.75pc, hoping that its latest monetary-tightening action...
24 May, 2022

Questionable campaign

OVER the past couple of days, a number of cases have been registered in different parts of the country against...
23 May, 2022

Defection rulings

By setting aside the existing law to prescribe their own solutions, the institutions haven't really solved the crisis at hand.
23 May, 2022

Spirit of the law

WOMEN’S right to inheritance is often galling for their male relatives in our patriarchal society. However, with...
23 May, 2022

Blaming others

BLAMING the nebulous ‘foreign hand’ for creating trouble within our borders is an age-old method used by the...