ISLAMABAD: The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Friday agreed to conduct the national census on March 15 next year involving the House listing and Population Census in one go.

The CCI meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held at PM House also agreed that the Census may be held in two phases; with each phase to be carried out in all the province’s simultaneously.

The meeting also agreed that the census would be carried out in close coordination of provincial governments. The CCI decided to form a committee comprising Secretary Statistics and four Chief Secretaries to address the implementation issues, a statement from the PM House said.

Pakistan held a Census every ten years and has so far conducted census in 1951, 1961, 1972, 1981 and 1998. The March 2017 Census would be held after a gap of 19 years.

The CCI discussed Establishment of National Security Fund and it referred it to the National Finance Commission, being the competent forum, for decision.

The Council approved National Forest Policy in principle and directed the Minister of Climate Change to work with the provincial governments to ensure there was no encroachment on provincial powers.

The National Forest Policy would enable the federal government to provide technical and financial assistance to the provincial governments in line with their own provincial policy framework and ensure compliance of international conventions.

 The CCI ratified payment of net hydel profit to the Government of Punjab. It was agreed that Rs 38.12 billion will be settled by issuance of irrevocable promissory note of one year duration to government of Punjab by December 2016.

 A Rs 44.59 billion balance would be paid in three equal installments after tariff determination by the CCI and NEPRA, the statement said.