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Strategy devised to ensure complete coverage of census in ICT till May 15

ISLAMABAD: In pursuance of directions of Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal to complete the census exercise May 15, 2023 for timely handing over data to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the higher management of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has decided to hold series of meetings.

The first such meeting was started with Chief Commissioner Islamabad on May 1, 2023. These meetings will also be conducted with Provincial Government of Punjab on May 2, 2023, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on May 3, 2023, Sindh on May 4, 2023 and Balochistan on May 5, 2023.

A meeting between PBS’ higher management and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) administration, under the chair of Chief Census Commissioner, Dr Naeem uz Zafar, to determine the reasons (gaps) of low coverage in Islamabad and devise a targeted strategy to ensure complete coverage till May 15, 2023 was held in National Census Coordination Centre (N3C), PBS head office on May 1, 2023.

The reasons of low coverage determined through data analysis and ground realities were discussed in detail with ICT administration, as the ICT Administration is fully responsible for completion of Census Field Work in Islamabad.

The problems of negative growth rate especially in Islamabad Urban are lack of security of Enumerators, Non response, non-coverage of collective residences like hostels, madrassas etc. low coverage in high rise buildings, high percentage of one person and two persons’ households, over reporting of non-living households.

It was mutually agreed that all efforts will be made to reduce the gaps identified by PBS. Sarwar Gondal, Member SSRM, PBS stressed on regular field visits of DC and ACs for effective monitoring. He also emphasized on daily progress sharing as strict action is needed to conclude the exercise on May 15, 2023. Islamabad Administration was fully agreed with the concept of targeted approach.

Deputy Commissioner apprised that he has already directed all ACs to undertake field visit to ensure complete coverage and plug in the gaps identified by PBS. Results will be visible in coming days.

Further, daily progress sharing, vigilance visits of DC and ACs in field in their respective areas of responsibility, complete security of field staff and strict action for the enumerators who have neglected their duties were also assured.

Commissioner ICT directed DC to provide fool proof security to field staff coverage by engaging Rangers. He also advised to make utmost efforts to ensure complete coverage. Chief Census Commissioner, Dr Naeem uz Zafar, anticipated that with cooperation of ICT Administration and PBS by taking remedial measures, the exercise will be completed successfully on May 15, 2023.