Govt Wants to Complete Digital Census Before 2023 Elections

Pakistan’s upcoming digital census will take place before the next elections in 2023. The process has been delayed time and time again, but it may finally take place by the end of this year or early 2023.

According to sources cited by Bussiness Recorder, the federal government wants to complete the census before the general elections in 2023. During a meeting held at P-Block Secretariat on Monday, Ahsan Iqbal, the Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives directed the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) to speed up the process of holding a digital census in the country.

The pilot phase of the digital census took place in 417 census blocks of 83 Tehsils across four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), and Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) between 20th July to 3rd August 2022. Minister Ahsan Iqbal said:

We are already on a thin line and any delay in the process would create constitutional crises as the conduct of the next general election of 2023 depended on the census of 2022.

The chief statistician at PBS informed the minister that the digital pilot census has been completed successfully and although there are a few shortcomings, they will be addressed before the final rollout. He also said that PBS is working closely with the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA), the National Telecom Corporation (NTC), and SUPARCO to make the census successful.

He added that the pilot census only took place after providing appropriate training to the staff members and equipping them with tablets.

Going forward, there are still no precise dates for the next digital census, so it is unclear whether it will take place by the end of this year or early next year. For now, we only know that the minister has told PBS to expedite the process so the census can be conducted sooner than later.

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