ISLAMABAD - Pakistan Bureau of Statistics yesterday said the post-census 5 percent validation exercise data may jeopardise the agreed outcome of the National Census as after two years it may not be comparable with the Census 2017 results.

According to the official documents available with The Nation, the Bureau further informed the government that survey about the additional demographic indicators and audit of the 5 percent census validation exercise will require more than Rs 11 billion.

The census process was incomplete as Form-2A was not filled during the census which needs to be undertaken to complete the process, said the official documents.

Pakistan Bureau of Statics told the government that the Finance Division may be advised to release supplementary grant of Rs 2.164 billion to conduct Form-2A-based enumeration exercise in line with the Supreme Court order of July 30, 2018, and CCI decision of December 16, 2016.

The census was incomplete as the important form 2-A which was part and parcel of the exercise was not filled. Now both the 5 percent audit and filling of form 2-A require another Rs 11 billion.

Additional demographic indicators to be covered in Form-2A: There are 33 questions in the Form 2-A related to education characteristic, geographic/migration characteristic, economic characteristic, fertility and mortality (females 15 to 49 years) and disability statics. Implementation of CCI’s earlier decision of November 24, 2017, was halted because of Senator Taj Haider’s advice for formation of a census commission comprising senators to supervise 5% validation exercise. Taj Haider asked the leader of the house to convene the meeting of the parliamentary leaders and officers of the statics division.

It was decided that the members of the National Assembly should be associated with the monitoring oversight committee to have their input.

Regarding conduct of 5% census/validation exercise, the CCI chairman appreciated the viewpoint of the statics division in terms of legal, practical and financial limitation as explained by the division and agreed that holding of 5% validation exercise at this belated stage is not workable and practical. However, the then prime minister suggested the issue of 5% may be referred back to the parliament for appropriate/decision.

Now The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics has proposed that in line with Article-154(7) of the Constitution 1973, the government is required to refer the matter to the parliament in a joint sitting whose decision in this behalf shall be final. Alternately, CCI may be requested to revisit its decision of May 27 in the national interest.

Regarding conduct of 5% census/validation exercise, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics further said it will be a costly exercise, adding the financial burden of Rs 8.29 billion plus to the national exchequer. Armed forces may not be available and suggested methodology may not be comparable, so post-census 5% validation exercise data may jeopardise the agreed outcome of National Census, 2017, as the conduct of 5 percent validation exercise in terms of results, after two years may not be comparable with Census 2017 results, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics said.