ISLAMABAD - The incumbent government, currently facing plethora of challenges, has yet not planned to call the Council of Common Interest (CCI) meeting to approve result of much-awaited 6th national population census.

The results of national population census were to be announced on July 31 after the approval of CCI, under the chairmanship of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.

The former Prime Minister was disqualified on July 28 and the new Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi elected on 1 August by securing 221 votes.

The schedule to call meeting of Council of Common Interests (CCI) has yet not been decided to give approval to the results of national population census and other agenda items, said sources in IPC ministry.

Prime Minister has to chair the CCI as chief ministers of all provinces participate in the meeting to approve or disapprove different projects. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi is currently engaged in plethora of challenges after the removal of ex-prime minister.

Besides many other political challenges, he also possessed the portfolios of important Ministry of Energy and Ministry of Planning and development.  On the other hands, Chief Statistician Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Asif Bajwa said they were waiting for meeting of CCI to present results of national population census.

“The provisional results of the 6th population census are ready, which will be presented in the CCI meeting for approval before making it public,“ said Asif Bajwa while talking to The Nation on Friday.

Bajwa said that the CCI was scheduled to meet on July 31 to approve the provisional census results. “The meeting was postponed for an indefinite time after the disqualification of former prime minister Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

It is essential to get approval from the CCI, according to the rules, as the census contains the data of the provincial governments. The CCI is a constitutional body, which makes attempt to resolve disputes of power-sharing between the federation and provinces.

The census was conducted with the help of the army and the international observers had shown satisfaction over the credibility and transparency of the exercise.

In its adverse effect, the delay in census results could hold-up the Election Commission of Pakistan’s plan for delimitation of national and provincial assembly constituencies on the basis of new population count.

As, the chief election commissioner had reportedly said that they would not be in a position to start work on fresh delimitations before obtaining the final census data.

The census was carried out after a gap of 19 years at a cost of Rs18.5 billion. The result of the ongoing census will be used for delimitation of constituencies, a division of fiscal resources and allocation of civil service quotas among the four federating units. The government had conducted the census in two phases. In the first phase, the census was carried out in 63 districts from March 15 to April 15. In the second phase, the exercise covered 88 districts from April 25 to May 25.

According to reports, the government conducted its first census in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, the fourth census in 1981 and the fifth census was conducted in March 1998. According to the Constitution, it is mandatory to conduct census after every 10 years.