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High-level meeting was held under Chief Sec Punjab, Chief Census Commissioner

ISLAMABAD (our reporert):- A high-level meeting was held under the joint chair of Chief Secretary Punjab and Chief Census Commissioner, Dr Naeem uz Zafar, to devise a strategy for Verification/ Coverage of leftover areas to ensure complete census coverage in Punjab till 15th May, 2023 in mutual consultation with Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and the Punjab Administration.

Chief Secretary Punjab appreciated the Census work and deep analysis by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, which was extremely helpful in rectifying issues of under-coverage assessing problematic blocks through geo-tagged locations.

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) presented the reasons for low coverage, mined through the Digital Systems, in detail and gave recommendations for mitigation to achieve full coverage.

Block-wise lists of one member, two members and non-living units were shared with Punjab Administration for a targeted approach.

Chief Census Commissioner, Dr. Naeem uz Zafar assured full support of PBS in identifying further gaps and provision of desired information. In turn, Chief Commissioner Punjab assured his full cooperation in filling the gaps identified by PBS and completing the important National task of the Census within the stipulated timelines.

District Commissioners (DCs) and Assistant Commissioners (ACs) have a key role conducting field visits for effective vigilance and monitoring and will convene meetings on a daily basis and share daily progress reports with the Chief Census Commissioner.

Strict action will be taken in case of misreporting by Field staff

In pursuance of directions of Mr. Ahsan Iqbal, to complete the census exercise on 15th May, 2023 for timely handing over data to the Election Commission of Pakistan, the PBS higher management is holding a series of meetings with Provincial and ICT Administration starting with Chief Commissioner Islamabad which was held on 1st May, 2023.

Second meeting was held with the Punjab administration on 2nd May, 2023. Such meetings will also be conducted with the Provincial Governments of KP on 3rd May, 2023, Sindh on 4th May, 2023 and Balochistan on 5th May, 2023 respectively.

The meeting between PBS, higher management and Punjab administration, to determine the reasons (gaps) of low coverage in Punjab and devise a targeted strategy to ensure complete coverage till 15th May, 2023 was held in Lahore on 2nd May, 2023.

The reasons of low coverage determined through data analysis and ground realities were discussed in detail with the Punjab administration, as they are fully responsible for the completion of Census Field Work in Punjab.

Muhammad Sarwar Gondal in detail informed about the possible reasons of low /negative growth rate in districts of Punjab, which include lack of security of Enumerators, non-response, non-coverage of collective residences like hostels, madrassas etc. low coverage in high-rise buildings, a high percentage of one-person and two-person households, and over-reporting of non-living households.

Sarwar Gondal, Member SSRM, PBS stressed on regular field visits of DCs and ACs for effective monitoring. He also emphasized on daily progress sharing as strict action is needed to conclude the exercise on 15th May, 2023. It was mutually agreed that all efforts will be made to reduce the gaps identified by PBS.

Punjab Government fully agreed with the concept of a targeted approach.

Chief Secretary directed all DCs and ACs to undertake field visits to ensure complete coverage and address the gaps identified by PBS.

Furthermore, daily meetings and progress sharing, vigilance visits of DCs and ACs in the field in their respective areas of responsibility, one-to-one security of field staff and strict action for the enumerators who have neglected their duties were also assured.

Chief Secretary directed Commissioners and DCs to make utmost efforts to ensure complete coverage.

Chief Census Commissioner, Dr Naeem uz Zafar, was confident that with the support of PBS and cooperation of the Punjab Administration in taking remedial measures, the exercise will be completed successfully on 15th May, 2023.

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