ISLAMABAD - The federal government in today’s meeting of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) will approve final results of the 6th population census without a third-party audit of five percent blocks, as was promised earlier, it is learnt.

The idea of an audit is being dropped as the term of the assemblies as well as the federal and provincial governments is going to expire soon ahead of the general elections, sources in CCI Secretariat told The Nation.

Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi with the consultation of four chief ministers would give approval to the census results in the last CCI’s meeting (38th sitting) of the outgoing administration, they said.

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

Pakistan’s population, according to the provisional results of the 6th census, has increased by 57 percent since 1998 – touching the figure of 207.8 million people, with 10,148 registered transgender persons.

The sources said that the final results of the census will be little different from the provisional results, announced on August 25, 2017, as the headcount would likely be more than the number shown in the draft results.

A member from Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS), the sources said, will give a detailed briefing about the results of 6th population census at the CCI meeting.

The final population result will give overall data on mother tongue, religion and regional growth, besides providing provincial patterns.

The provisional results had shown an increase in population growth in smaller provinces (KP, Balochistan) and Fata. The breakup of provisional results revealed that majority of Pakistanis, almost 63.6 percent (132.189 million), live in rural areas.

The female population has seen a comparative reduction with 101.314 million, which is 48.8 percent of the total headcount; whereas, the male population has increased to 106.44 million or 51.2 percent of the total.

The province-wise figures, according to the provisional results, show Punjab at the top with an average annual growth rate of 2.40 percent, KP 2.89, Fata 2.41, Sindh 2.41, Balochistan 3.37 and Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) 4.91 percent.

In the last 36 years, the population grew by 146.6 percent and a declining trend was observed in the growth rate in two bigger provinces, Punjab and Sindh.

The sources said that the CCI will also discuss a controversy involving water allocation to the provinces as Pakistan People’s Party, representing the Sindh province, has repeatedly expressed reservation on the allocation by Irsa.

Speaking the National Assembly, Prime Minister Abbasi had recently said that the water distribution among the provinces was being done on the basis of the 1991water accord. He however said, “If a province especially Sindh has any reservation on the water allocation by IRSA it can bring the issue to the CCI.”