Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday chaired a meeting to review the work plan for the upcoming 6th Population and Housing Census 2016.

Chief Statistician Asif Bajwa briefed the meeting on the processes so far completed by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics to get prepared for the Census being conducted in 2016.

Minister for Finance appreciated the efforts of the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics and said that conducting the Census is an important activity as it helps in gauging the nature and strengths and weaknesses of the population and also dictates how the planning for the future should be made. He hoped that the civil and military personal involved in the process will take utmost care in collection and processing of the data keeping in view the sensitivity of the issue and for ensuring transparency of the process.

It was informed by the Chief Statistician and his team that the actual census activity will start in last week of March 2016 and will continue for around three weeks. Provincial Education Departments have been taken on board while fixing the time schedule of the census keeping in view the school examination schedule in the respective provinces.

The Finance Minister directed that it must be ensured that educational activities in schools should not suffer due to the census exercise.

It was decided that Census 2016 will be conducted under the supervision and monitoring of civil and armed forces in order to ensure credibility and transparency of the data.

The armed forces will be responsible for maintaining law and order situation during field activity and retrieval of filled in questionnaires from the field and carrying them to Islamabad for smooth conduct of the activity.

Separately the Minister was informed that while reviewing the activity calendar it was observed that time span earmarked for certain activities was too long and the Finance Minister issued directions for reducing the time span for these activities to ensure timely completion of exercise.