Sindh asked to appoint focal person on census

Census Monitoring Committee reviews ongoing enumeration

Our Correspondent March 16, 2023


The census monitoring committee allowed the Sindh government on Wednesday to nominate one of its provincial ministers as a focal person for a more coordinated communication in order to speed up the ongoing national headcount operation.

Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal chaired the 7th meeting of the Census Monitoring Committee to review progress in the country’s first digital census activities, field operations and other related issues, according to a said a press release issued here.

“The meeting decided that the Sindh government would nominate one member of its cabinet as a focal person for more coordinated communication so that the census operation could be moved at a faster pace,” it added.

During the meeting, Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) chief Dr Naeem Zafar briefed the participants about the progress in the census process. Iqbal said on the occasion, the government was working in collaboration with all the provinces on conducting a digital census.

The minister directed the authorities concerned to launch an effective media campaign for projecting the ongoing census and creating awareness among the masses about the difference between the digital census and the traditional census conducted in the past.

The meeting was attended by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah, Chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), PBS chief, chief secretaries of Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan and senior officials.

The development came a day after the PPP had threatened to quit the federal ministries, forcing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government to allow the provincial governments to access the census monitoring dashboards.

The decision to give access to the provincial governments, especially Sindh, has mainly been taken to persuade the key ally to continue standing by the federal government and shun any second thoughts at a time when the country is going through a political upheaval amid severe financial crises just ahead of the general elections in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.

“It has been decided that the statistics as required by the provincial governments, especially Sindh may be included in the monitoring dashboard,” Chief Statistician of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Dr Naeemuz Zafar stated in a letter addressed to the chairman National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA).

The chief census commissioner added that the dashboard has already been deployed for chief secretaries, saying the role-based access of the same may be provided to all provincial/regional chief secretaries, commissioners, deputy commissioners (DCs) and assistant commissioners (ACs).

Keeping in view the sensitivity of the matter, Zafar stated, NADRA teams be directed to assure access to the dashboard by March 15 to all the DCs and ACs “at all census district level for broader involvement, transparency and credibility of this national activity of extreme importance”.

PPP Chairman and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari had recently threatened to quit the ruling coalition over objections to the ongoing digital census as well as if the Centre does not fulfill its promises of giving relief to flood victims of Sindh.

With additional input from APP


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