ISLAMABAD -  Following the approval, the Prime Minister Secretariat may send summary to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics tomorrow (Monday) for conducting five per cent audit of the provisional results of population census.

The Council of Common Interests last month (11 November) had unanimously approved the audit of provisional results of 6th population census results. “Summary will be moved to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to formally initiate audit of the census results,” sources in the PBS said.

The incumbent government wants to complete five per cent audit of the provisional results of the population census as agreed in the CCI meeting.

The process for audit of population results will be initiated, as per the recommendations approved from the minutes of CCI meeting and summary’s direction from the PM secretariat. The timeframe for completion of the five per cent audit of results will nearly take six months, the PBS sources said. However, the PBS in the CCI claimed to complete it in three months. The result of population census and way to conduct headcount in some areas of the country was criticised by two major political parties (PPP and MQM-P).

Both the parties had also conveyed these reservations to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi during the National Assembly proceedings. Abbasi, on the floor of the house, assured to address the reservations in the CCI meeting. The National Assembly has passed the constitutional amendment about the fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of the 6th population census’ provisional results. But, the Senate has yet to pass the constitutional amendment. The Upper House may take up this agenda item tomorrow (Monday) to adopt the constitutional amendment.

The PBS, according to the procedure, will be in need of specific budget to initiate the process of audit of population census.

A special team of PBS will decide modus operandi to complete it in a stipulated time, sources said, adding much efforts will be required to complete this task in the shortest time.

Political experts viewed that the government will easily be able to complete the audit of census before the completion of its tenure (June 2018) to take the credit of conducting population census. The census is necessary as it helps judicious distribution of resources, representation in parliament, tax collection and other related matters. According to the constitution of Pakistan, the government has to conduct a census every 10 years, but it had skipped many census.

The first population census was conducted in 1951, second in 1961 and third in 1972, fourth in March 1981, fifth in 1991 and 6th was conducted in 2017.