CCI agrees to conduct population census in March 2017

  • Ratifies payment of net hydel profit to Punjab

The Council of Common Interests (CCI) has agreed to begin population census on the 15th of March next year.

During a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad on Friday, the council decided that house listing and census operation may be carried out in one go.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a meeting with the chief ministers before chairing CCI meeting.

The meeting also decided that the census may be held in two phases and each phase may be carried out in all the provinces simultaneously. Moreover, the CCI agreed that census will be carried out in close coordination with provincial governments.

There will be a committee of secretary statistics and four chief secretaries to address all the implementation issues.

Agenda item pertaining to establishment of National Security Fund was discussed and it was decided to refer it to National Finance Commission for a decision, it being the competent forum.

The CCI approved National Forest Policy in principle and directed the minister of climate change to sit with the provincial governments to ensure no encroachment on provincial powers is made. The National Forest Policy will enable the federal government to provide technical and financial assistance to the provincial governments in line with their own provincial policy framework and to ensure compliance with international conventions.

It ratified payment of net hydel profit to government of Punjab in the amount of Rs 38.12 billion by issuance of irrevocable promissory note of one-year duration to Punjab government by December 2016. The balance Rs 44.59 will be paid in three equal installments after tariff determination by CCI/NEPRA.

The last census was carried out in 1998 when the population was counted at 132 million people. It is since believed to have crossed the 200 million mark, an estimate based on figures from yearly growth statements issued by the country’s Statistics Bureau and survey work, making Pakistan the sixth most populous country in the world.

Pakistan was due to conduct a census in 2008 and 2010 but political unrest, conflict, and natural disasters contributed to delays.

The census is also a sensitive issue politically because it determines the amount of development budget allocated to each of the country’s provinces.