Federal Planning and Development Minister Asad Umar said on Saturday that the next general elections in the country would be held on the basis of a new census.
In May, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) published the final results of the 6th Population and Housing Census 2017 on its website, according to which the total population of the country stands at 207.68 million, with a rate of annual growth of 2.4%.
The population includes 106.018 million men, 101.344 million women and 321,744 transgender people.
“The Karachi census is a long-standing problem,” the minister said at a press conference. He was accompanied by the Federal Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi.
The minister claimed that former President Gen (ret’d) Pervez Musharraf had done a lot for the city but was unable to conduct the census. He said the census would be carried out using modern technology.
“The census was conducted 19 years later in 2017. We want the facts about the census to be known, involving all stakeholders. The summary will be sent to the stakeholders after approval by the cabinet.
He added that the census was due to be completed in early 2023 and that the constituencies would be demarcated at the end of the fiscal year.
After a three-year delay, the federal cabinet approved the 2017 census in December last year at a meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan – with a dissenting note submitted by the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, one federal government allies. With Sindh opposing the exercise, he also rejected publication of the final results approved by the ICC last month.
Taking into account the objections raised by Sindh and other stakeholders, the government also decided to organize the next census in October using the latest technology to avoid the risk of errors / errors, as reported in the previous exercise . He also pledged to publish the results of the new census by 2023.
He said the government would now use “digital technology” for the census. “We had assembled a team of experts and they have completed their consultations on the matter,” he said.
Read Boxing at the ballot box today
The minister said that the Ministry of Information and Technology, Pakistan Telecommunications Authority, National Database and Registration Authority, National Telecom Corporation and Suparco will be considered in the process. .
“We don’t want discrepancies. We will keep the census transparent,” he said.
Umar said Sindh would not be allowed to act on its proposal to collect taxes on behalf of the Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) through electricity bills.
Two days ago, the government of Sindh announced its intention to recover fire and conservation taxes from KMC through K-Electric bills.
Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah said that Rs100 and Rs200 would be billed by two categories of consumers respectively in the bills.
However, Umar told a press conference in the city that he had spoken to Federal Energy Minister Hammad Azhar and decided to “not approve Sindh’s proposal.”
In response, Karachi administrator Murtaza Wahab called on the federal government not to create “obstacles” in the affairs of the KMC.
He added that he would ensure that the income generated from the taxes in the invoices is spent on the development of Karachi in a transparent manner.
“The KMC is trying to stand on its own feet. I hope Prime Minister Imran Khan will support Sindh [for this purpose]. “
He promised that the collection of municipal utility taxes would be published on the KMC website.
Read more ECP reserves its decision on local elections in Sindh
The minister said the PPP had ruled Karachi and the province for 13 years, but the city faced several challenges, including waste disposal.
Umar argued that Prime Minister Imran was aware of the problems facing the metropolis.
“The federal government would heal Karachi’s wounds. Work is underway on five major federal projects in the city, ”he added.
“The Green Line project is a modern transport project. Several of its phases have been completed while 80 buses are being purchased for it. Some buses will arrive on September 12 while another 40 buses will reach Karachi next week. “
The minister said that drivers had been recruited and that a command and control center had been set up. The IT infrastructure for the project will soon be completed.
On garbage collection and disposal, the federal minister said about 1.1 million tons of garbage will be removed from the city’s sewers.
“Sidewalks, underpasses and overhead bridges are built over these drains,” he said. “Roads approximately 15 feet wide will also be built along these.”
He added that the situation for rainwater drainage was now much better and about 90% of the drains had been cleaned.
“The recent rains have not caused any problems, as the storm sewers were cleaned up earlier. “
The Planning Minister said that the federation’s third project was the Karachi Circular Railway (KCR).
“The Chief Justice of Pakistan helped us with the circular railway project. The project goes from Karachi to Pipri and will cost Rs70 billion. It will cover 43 km, of which 29 km would be elevated.
The minister added that the KCR would serve 22 stations and that the entire project would be managed by the private sector.
Umar revealed that the prime minister will visit the port city before September 30 and inaugurate the KCR infrastructure.
Referring to Karachi’s water problems, the minister said the K-4 project has been delayed for the past decade, but work on four projects will resume in five months.
“We are trying to complete four projects by August 14, 2023. The Sindh government is responsible for the water supply.
Under Ehsaas’s emergency financial aid program, Rs 7 billion was distributed to Karachi and Rs 65 billion to Sindh, Umar said.
He added that Rs21 billion had been allocated for small projects in the city in the current budget.
Umar further stated that the Sindh government was not ready to hold local elections.
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