ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) has recommended to the Council of Common Interests (CCI) to make constitutional amendment to hold next general elections on the basis of fresh census data.

“We have recommended to the CCI in the last meeting to make constitutional amendment to replace the word ‘final’ with ‘provisional’ results to hold next general elections on the basis of 6th population census,” said Federal Minister for Statistics Kamran Michael, while addressing a press conference.

He further said that the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) could not start the process of delimitation of national and provincial assembly constituencies without completion of final data of the population census.

The CCI approved the provisional census results last Friday and final results would be compiled by April next year.

The ECP would need almost six months for delimitation of constituencies [after compilation of final results, Michael added.

Therefore, the PBS has suggested to the CCI to make constitutional amendment. The final results would almost be the same as provisional results, he explained.

Michal said that provinces had sought time to discuss the proposal.

Otherwise, the government would have to delay the general elections for few months or to hold it on the basis of old population data, the minister said.

He said that the federal government would constitute the next National Finance Commission Award, revenue sharing formula between centre and the provinces, on the basis of fresh population census.

The minister also rejected the objections raised by the Sindh government on the provisional results of the census.  The Sindh government should explain their reservation, he said.

Michael clarified that provincial governments determine the rural and urban areas not the federal government.

The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan provinces had not raised any objections on the census results, he said.

On a question, Michael said that both the PBS and the Pakistan Army had similar data on recently conducted population census. We had tallied our results with the Pakistan army’s record, he said.

Michael asked the provincial governments to come up with objections or recommendations in the CCI meeting, which was the right forum to resolve the controversial issues between the centre and the provinces.

“We have given time for raising objections during census process and we resolve many of them on time,” he said.  The census teams comprised provincial governments’ officials and there was no member of the federal government in them.