Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar has said that the Council of Common Interests has unanimously approved the 2017 census and decided to conduct a new census immediately.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad after the meeting of the Council of Common Interests, Asad Umar said that a Cabinet Committee on Census had also been constituted and he had formulated his recommendations in this regard.
He said that the census forms the basis of elections and constituencies are formed on the basis of the latest constituencies and elections are held on the basis of the same while the 2018 elections were given special immunity through a special constitutional amendment.
He said that by-elections could be held on the basis of old constituencies and census but local government elections would be held on the basis of the new census and the judiciary was also very much interested in it.
The Federal Minister said that if there is no final decision on the census before the 2023 elections, then due to the expiration of the constitutional amendment exemption, the next election will be based on the 1998 census, which will result in less representation in the Assembly Will go and the representation of Punjab will increase.
Asad Umar said that in view of this situation, the meeting of the Council of Common Interests decided by a majority vote to approve the results of the census.
He said that at the same time it was decided that there was no need to wait for 10 years for the next census as there was a question mark on this census so a new census should be conducted on an immediate basis.
The Federal Minister for Planning said that a few months ago we had formed a technical team headed by the Deputy Commissioner Planning Commission which includes government officials and statisticians specializing in the census and they have completed a lot of work.
“A new census framework will be prepared within the next six to eight weeks because we did not conduct the census according to the old procedure,” he said.
He added that the process would be completed by mid-June, after which we would seek approval from the Council of Common Interests and work could begin four months after that approval, by October of the same year. Work on the new census will begin and the 18-month process will be completed in the first six months of 2023.
The Federal Minister said that the decision to approve the census was taken by consensus in which 7 members of the federation, Chief Ministers of Balochistan, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa voted in favour of it while Chief Minister Sindh voted against it.