PBS extends date for digital census for second time

Enumerator marking completion of data collection at a building in Larkana during the first-ever digital population and housing census on March 18, 2023. — APP
Enumerator marking completion of data collection at a building in Larkana during the first-ever digital population and housing census on March 18, 2023. — APP

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) Monday extended the date of the ongoing digital census — the seventh population census in Pakistan’s history — for the second time till April 15 to complete the remaining census work and ensure 100% coverage, an official statement said.

The Chief Census Commissioner has extended the date for census work to be completed in metropolitan cities including Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Lahore, Quetta, Gilgit, and Karachi or as the Sindh government deemed it appropriate, the PBS wrote. It added that the census date has also been extended for 13 cities of Balochistan.

This is the second time that the date for the population count has been extended. Earlier, the PBS extended its date till April 10.

PBS extends date for digital census for second time

“In order to complete the leftover census work and ensure the completed coverage, details of the cities along with the additional time required to complete remaining work was solicited from the provincial governments for extending the census operation on a customised basis only for those cities where census work is yet to be completed,” the statement read.

In case enumerators have not yet made a visit, the federal agency — conducting the task of completing Pakistan’s first-ever digital census — has requested citizens to inform them via the toll-free number 0800-57574, which will be functional 24/7. Citizens can also send their complete address through SMS on 9727 for lodging complaints of non-coverage and visit or contact PBS Reginal Offices or the 495 Census Support Center established at the tehsil level for lodging their complaints regarding non-coverage.

“Simultaneously, the quality of data is being ensured through Post Enumeration Survey by using Computer Assisted Telephonic Interview (CATI) and the respected citizens are urged to extend cooperation with our team to verify their data through randomly generated calls through CATI,” PBS stated.

As the most important stakeholders and beneficiaries of the census, citizens have also been urged to ensure their full participation and cooperation with field staff visiting them and the call centre officials who may call them for data verification for quality control, as well as lodge complaints of non-coverage if any.

“Participation in the census is not only our moral, and legal obligation but also provides the opportunity for the government to develop evidence-based policy planning for ensuring our rights and better service delivery at our doorstep,” the statement read.

The government body thanked the nation and stakeholders for their tireless efforts and unwavering support to accomplish over 97% census field operations.

PBS has been executing the ongoing census digitally for the first time, with census field operations commencing from March 1 without any interruption.

“The successful execution of the digital census is a great success and it is a moment of great pride for the nation as it is the largest South Asian digital census to date. The overall progress of the census is very encouraging and satisfactory,” the statement mentioned.

So far, the data of over 97% listed households has been collected to date through tablets across the country and only less than 3% census fieldwork has been left, particularly in metropolitan cities of various provinces and other few cities of Balochistan.

The census fieldwork has been covered and completed data gathering in over 99% Punjab, 98% in Sindh, 90% in Islamabad and 82% in Balochistan while the census work has almost been completed in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

PBS enumerators have completed 100% census work in 131 districts out of 156 districts across the country, while 70% to 80% census work is done in the remaining 25 districts and work is in progress.

“It is pertinent to mention that the work completion percentage may slightly increase after the synchronisation of data from some completed blocks, which fall in the offline zone. The completion of census work is over 97% across the country is a landmark achievement and will pave the way for a new era for prosperous Pakistan,” the PBS wrote stated.

According to The News, PBS has also suggested an enumeration re-check in around 30,000 buildings of more than four storeys in Karachi, and sent the list of those buildings to the Sindh government as its officers have been performing the census duties in the city.

The monitoring team of the PBS has identified 40,000 buildings throughout the country where they fear that some households might not have been counted. Of such buildings, around 30,000 belong to Karachi.

The PBS chief statistician, Dr Naeemuz Zafar has physically shown a few of such buildings to the provincial census commissioner in Karachi and asked relevant assistant commissioners to revisit them for the census count.

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