According to a government press release the Governing Council of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), headed by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, approved the plan to hold the housing and population census in March of the next year.
Census is an exercise likely to have profound implications for the distribution of federal resources among the provinces as well as the representation of the each province in the parliament.
The Census in Pakistan conducted after each 10 years across the country. The country has so far held five census. The first census was conducted after independence in 1951, and later in 1961, 1972, 1981, and 1998. The 1971 census was delayed one year due to the war, while the census in 1998 was delayed due to political issues.
Pakistan’s next national census was scheduled to take place in 2008 and later in 2010 but the plan could not materialize. The government has now decided to conduct the population census in March 2016, eight years after the scheduled time.
According to the official statement the next census will be conducted with the assistance of the armed forces and the preliminary results of it will be available in June 2016.
Ishaq Dar said that the preparation of district-wise data and relevant reports be completed by December 2017.
The census serves as a basic document for devising the national policies and goals. It helps in determining the shares of the provinces in federal tax revenue.
The Council of Common Interests (CCI) had last month granted approval to conduct the population census with the assistance of the military. The census budget has been estimated at Rs14.5 billion, which will be shared by the provinces.
The Governing Council also approved the creation of a National Census Apex Committee. It was also decided that technical Committees on various subjects will be formed separately by including experts of relevant fields and members of the Governing Council.