ISLAMABAD - The Sindh government has refused to fund the cost over and above the Council of Common Interests (CCI) approved amount for the upcoming national census from the divisible pool, it was learnt reliably here on Sunday.

The province is going to fund the amount approved by the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for the upcoming census and will let the federal government pay the extra amount, an official source told The Nation. The CCI has approved the initial cost, Rs14.5 billion, for the 6th census, to be paid from the federal divisible pool. However, now the cost has increased to Rs30 billion.

The federal government is required to take the approval, of the CCI, for the enhanced amount if it wants to fund it from the Federal Divisible Pool, the source said. “The province is not going to accept the demand of the federal government for the extra census funding as it is the federal government’s responsibility and they should fund it from their own resources,” the source said. Under the current NFC Award, Punjab gets 51.74 percent share, Sindh 24.55 percent, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa 14.62 percent and Balochistan 9.09 percent from the divisible pool.

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is all set to conduct the 6th population census 2017 from March 15. To ensure smooth and secure execution of the census process, security and other arrangements have already been finalised. An amount of Rs7.5 billion has been released and disbursed to provinces to make arrangements for this national exercise.

As per the plan, census would be conducted in two phases and the PBS has already recruited enumerators to hold count in 168,120 census blocks across the country. One enumerator would be responsible for counting two blocks. To ensure the security of the census staff, the Pakistan Army has reserved 200,000 personnel and one security person would be assigned to each enumerator. Police would also perform duties in accordance with their protocol to ensure security of the census staff.

The 5th census was due in 1990, but it was delayed until 1998. Similarly, the 6th census was due in 2008, but it was delayed and now the government has decided to start it from March 15 and complete it within two months.

Besides, the source said the Sindh government has demanded that the federal government provide the preliminary results of the census to the provinces soon after completion by the deputy commissioner’s office. The census that is going to start on March 15 will conclude on June 5 and as per the plan the summary results of the population will be made public after 60 days of the exercise. The detailed reports will take about one and a half years to finalise.