WEB DESK: The government has made census as formal agenda item in the revised notice of 28th meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) convened on February 29 2016 and may cite law and order situation as reason for postponing it. As per revised agenda of CCI meeting issued by Ministry of IPC on February 23, 2016 a copy of which is available with Business Recorder, the summary of Statistic Division with respect to conducting census has been included for discussion during the Monday”s CCI meeting. The earlier CCI agenda finalised on February 19, 2016 did not include census.
An official highlighted the importance of census and stated that it meets legal and constitutional requirements for providing a basis for political representation in the National and Provincial Assemblies (Article 51(5) of the Constitution) as well as delineation of constituencies for National and Provincial Assemblies and most importantly census provides a basis for distribution of funds to the federating units from National Finance Commission (Article 160(2) of the Constitution). The census also provides a basis for determination of quota for recruitment to all civil posts in the federal government.
They added that population and housing censuses are a stock taking of human resources of a country and their living conditions at one point of time. The exercise provides basic data on demographic, social and economic variables about each person and each housing unit and data collected through census serves as a benchmark for all types of socio-economic development plans, administrative activities and demographic research. The planned population census if it takes place as per CCI decision would be 6th in the history of the country.
Asif Bajwa, who is census commissioner, has told a senate panel that census would be conducted only if required armed personnel for the exercise were provided by the army. An official said that if the polio vaccination exercise can not be conducted without the help of law enforcement agencies how such a huge exercise across the country can be possible without proper security to enumerators.
The CCI meeting will take up summary of IPC ministry regarding the status review of important decisions taken in the previous meeting of March 18, 2015. The meeting reviewed the status of Power generation policy, 2015, oil and gas matters, allocation of water for Islamabad/Rawalpindi, inquiry into corruption charges of Kachi Canal, public debt management & supervision policy, Pakistan Energy Efficiency & Energy Conservation (PEEC) Bill, 2014, matters pertaining to higher education and other similar bodies in post-eighteenth amendment scenario, amendment in the Indus River System Authority (IRSA) Act, 1992, permanent absorption of federal employees transferred to the provincial governments in the wake of the 18th Constitutional Amendment.
Ministry of IPC will also place before the CCI meeting annual reports of the Council of Common Interests (CCI) for the years 2013-14 and 2014-15 for approval. Cabinet Division will present to the CCI annual report of NEPRA for 2013-14 and State of Industry Report 2014, Cabinet Division and Ministry of Water and Power is going to present formulation of National Flood Protection Plan-IV (2015-25). The CCI would also take up government of Balochistan proposal of pumping of drainage effluent, rationalisation of distribution of water from the Hub dam and an early completion of RBOD-III project, the government of Balochistan.