Population census must for credible socio-economic policies: PM

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani on Thursday terming population census as government’s constitutional responsibility, said credible statistics would help formulate effective socio-economic policies and distribution of resources.Addressing a seminar in preparation for the Population Census 2011 starting March-April, the Prime Minister said the exercise would allow the Federal government to fulfill its obligations in equitable distribution of national resources.The Prime Minister said the government has decided in the meeting of Council of Common Interest (CCI) to hold the next population and housing census in 2011.The census to be done in two phases – house listing in March and April and population census in August and September, would be the sixth and would be conducted on modern lines to ensure accuracy of data.The Prime Minister directed all Federal Government ministries and departments to extend their full support to extend cooperation to the Population Census Organisation (PCO).Gilani called upon the stakeholders to use the methodology for census which must involve new technologies and latest scientific methods.

He urged for benefitting from the experiences of various countries in carrying out successful census.Gilani said the government had ensured gender equality and the role of women in socio-economic development.He said the census would also provide data of the percentage of women in the country which will help formulate better policies for them. He called for deputing women staffers to collect data from other women.Gilani said the government would consider the recommendations of the workshop in policy-making.
Minister for Finance Abdul Hafeez Sheikh termed the Population and the Housing Census was an important national activity and its success would only be because of close coordination and active support of all the Federal and provincial government ministries and departments.He said maps of the country have been updated so that the census staff may reach all areas and modern methodology and equipment will be used to ensure accuracy of data.He said the PCO has already initiated necessary steps for the gigantic exercise and have completed preparations for the House Listing Operation through out the country from April 5.He hoped the deliberations of the seminar would discuss Tabulation Plan for publication of census results, use of Sampling Frame for development of a Uniform Coding Scheme.

He said technical groups would deliberate on all the issues and come up with recommendations.Hafeez Sheikh also presented a copy of the National labour Survey to the Prime Minister.Earlier at a presentation Secretary Statistics Division said the Census 2011 has been planned in a very comprehensive manner and data would be collected through a door-to-door survey across the country.He said security was a big issue and the matters were being discussed with the Pakistan Army for conducting survey in the sensitive areas.He said the data would be placed on the Google Maps through the Geographic Information System (GIS) for analysis and better planning of health, education and other public services.Bajwa, as an example, showed satellite images of Multan, with GIS data, giving details of health services for the vast population.Prime Minister Gilani in his speech referred to the Google images of Multan and said he was born in Karachi. He said he was proud to be associated to the historic city of Multan, that was as old as Damascus.He however in a lighter vein added that it was important to note that “not all roads leads to Multan – APP