ISLAMABAD: The demand of some political parties related to audit of the 6th national census conducted in 2017 might not be met and the results would be finalised by end of April as the Ministry of Statistics was running short of time to initiate an audit.
The officials of Ministry of Statistics informed National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Statistics that time factor was hindering the audit of census as almost a year had passed so far to finalise the results. The ministry would submit the final results to Council of Common Interests (CCI) in April.
Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Secretary Rukhsan Yaseem informed the committee that the ministry might face issues in initiating an audit of the five per cent census due to time shortage.
She was of the view that the verification of data could only be done in a time frame of three to four months after the census. Upon this, the committee chairman said that the CCI’s meeting on Tuesday might decide against proceeding further on the audit issue of the census. The CCI meeting convened by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was to consider an agenda of Ministry of Statistics’ Monitoring and Oversight Committee of the senators for 5 per cent validation exercise of the census results.
She said that initially CCI’s decision was to carry out random validation exercise of 1 per cent of the census results across the country; however, later the same forum decided that audit would be conducted on 5 per cent of the census results. As the exercise was to be started by a third party in December 2017, a letter was received from the Senate, bearing the signature of Taj Haider and other senators. The letter provided seven points which were totally different from what had been agreed in the CCI meeting to carry out the audit exercise.
Talking about the next general election on the basis of the census, she said that provisional results had been provided to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for holding the elections.
Responding to a question, she said that though various political parties criticised the findings of the census in the media but no written complaint was filed with PSB so far. Even a political party which had shown concerns about the census results did not file a complaint, she added.
She further said that leaders of a political party visited PBS and promised to submit a complaint in writing but they never returned.