PBS to spend Rs320m on census public awareness campaign

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) would spend Rs320 million on the public awareness campaign to sensitise the people across the country about the importance of population census for overall national development.

“An amount of about Rs320 million have been earmarked for launching the public awareness campaign to create awareness among the people about importance and process of a population census,” sources told APP.

The total expenditures of the nation-wide exercise have been estimated at Rs30 billion and the PBS has already finalised all the arrangements to conduct this much-awaited exercise from the mid of March 2017.

The sources said that the Bureau would also establish a media cell to facilitate access of media persons to census operations and data.

The Senate Standing Committee on Finance during its recent meeting had also suggested that Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) should be approached to facilitate the launch of public awareness campaign through electronic media about the importance of population census.

Giving details about the census preparations, the sources said that about 80 per cent of enumerators have already been trained while the training of remaining enumerators was going on, which would be completed before the launch of the exercise on March 15.

The source said that an amount of Rs7.5 billion has been released and disbursed to provinces to make arrangements for this national exercise, which is scheduled to be held in two phases.

The Bureau has recruited enumerators to hold count in 168, 120 census blocks across the country, adding that one enumerator would be responsible for counting two blocks, each block consisting of about 200 houses.

The exercise would conclude on June 5 and the summary results of the population would be made public after 60 days of census while the detailed reports may take about one and a half year as it has to pass through many stages, the sources added.

Furthermore, the Form 2A for the collection of data about migration, unemployment, fertility and disability would be filled after the main census operation is over in June and this would be conducted on a sample basis.

The PBS has fixed March 18 as reference day and whosoever is present at the particular location on that day, would be counted for the census.