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Census audit.

The PML-N government wants to complete audit of blocks before completion of its tenure this year to make the recent population census controversy-free, sources told The Nation on Monday.

The government wants to take credit for carrying out the 6th population census without any controversy, as special instructions have been given to complete the audit process as soon as possible, they said.

The Election Commission of Pakistan is in consultation with the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to remove the errors and mistakes in blocks and maps for delimitation of constituencies.

The process to approve provided maps and blocks to the ECP may take some more months to finalise delimitation of constituencies, said sources in the PBS.

The PBS had provided the required census data to the ECP around two weeks before. The PBS had provided census maps of urban and rural blocks and census results, which is currently being examined. The country was divided into 163,541 blocks to conduct the 6th census of the country, according to the information.

The government had announced to complete the exercise in three months time, sources said, but it might take more than stipulated timeframe.

The issue of raising the census blocks from one per cent to five per cent for a third party audit was approved in the last Council of Common Interests (CCI) meeting chaired by the Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi.

Both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) had passed a Constitutional Amendment about fresh delimitation of constituencies on the basis of provisional results of the 6th population census.

Two opposition parties the Pakistan People's Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement-Pakistan had mainly raised the objection over the results and demanded five per cent third party audit. As these opposition parties had also created much difficulty for government to pass the constitutional amendment regarding delimitation of constituencies.

The first population census was conducted in 1951, the second in 1961, the third in 1972, the fourth in March 1981, the fifth in 1998 and the 6th census was conducted in 2017. The census is required for judicious distribution of resources, representation in Parliament, tax collection, etc.

The PML-N government have taken credit of carrying out some of previous population census in its government era.

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Publication:The Nation (Karachi, Pakistan)
Date:Jan 30, 2018
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