ISLAMABAD The National Assemblys Standing Committee on Economic Affairs and Statistics was informed on Thursday that the next population census in the country would be held in March 2011.
The lack of interest on part of the MPs was observed during the meeting of the Committee, as it started its proceedings late about an hour due to absence of the members.
The Committee had to adjourn its proceedings again after 45 minutes without completing discussion when one of its members left his seat, therefore, the Chairman of Committee had to adjourn the meeting due to lack of quorum.
Many officials of the Statistics Division as well as Economic Division were also present in the meeting to discuss the items present on the agenda.
However, the Census Commissioner informed the legislators that the Statistics Division had sent a summary to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for approval to hold the next population census in the country.
According to the summary, the housing census in the country would be held in October of this year and the population census would be held in March 2011.
The Finance Ministry has also agreed to provide funds needed to hold the census, the Committee was informed.
Earlier, the Statistics Division had sent a summary for census to the Cabinet Division in October of the last year for its approval from the Prime Minister.
The concerned Division sent it back with the objection that it should have been dispatched to the CCI, as after passage of the 18th Amendment, the subject of census was a part II of the Federal Legislative List.
The Commissioner also informed that the Cabinet Division had given approval to hold population census in 2008 that was postponed, as the assistance of Armed Forces was not available at that time because of its involvement in the military operations and non-availability of the funds.
Similarly, the population census was cancelled last year on the request of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan Governments and FATA due the bad law and order situation in these areas.
It is pertinent to mention here that many countries used to hold population census after every five years and some after 10 years but Pakistan held its last population census in 1998.
According to the Commissioner Census, the census blocks have been given final shape for the population census and 1,46000 officials of health, education and local government departments would take part in the housing census.
The meeting discussed issues related to the General Statistics (Reorganisation) Act, 2010 and disbursement of foreign economic assistance during fiscal year 2009-10 along with monitoring of aid utilisation system.

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 16-Jul-2010 here.