Akhtar Shaheen Rind
KARACHI: Chief Minister Sindh Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that the actual population of Sindh is 64.4 million while the federal government has projected it at 57.6 million which showed that 6.8 million people have not been enumerated. “This is not a small difference and the purpose of conducting a census within a period of five years (2017-2023) was to make accurate, foolproof, and scientific enumeration but this has also proved to be defective and unacceptable.”
This he said while addressing a press conference at CM House on Thursday. He was flanked by Minister Information Sharjeel Memon, Syed Nasir Shah, and Murtaza Wahab.Census: Talking about the Census-2023, the CM said that last night a meeting was held in Islamabad to which he was not invited but the chief secretary attended it. Without taking him into confidence, the meeting decided to close the exercise [census] from May 15, except in the Punjab. Mr. Shah questioned if the census was meant to be conducted based on the growth rate, then there was no need to carry out such an expensive and gruesome exercise. “Under the law, the census is conducted after every 10 years,” he said and added that the last census was conducted in 2017 but it was defective, therefore on his hue and cry in the CCI the federal government decided to conduct it again in 2023. “Now this census of 2023 is also proving to be defective and controversial, therefore the federal government must rectify its shortcomings to the extent of the satisfaction of the provincial governments,” he demanded and announced otherwise his government would have no option but to reject it. Murad Ali Shah showed some slides taken from the screens of the tablets given to the enumerators. The slide read `today is May 17, 2023 – the enumeration in the Block [ taluka Jati, District Sujawal] can be started between March 1 and 11, 2023.” He showed slides of different blocks, including Daro Satah of Tando Allahyar, Muradi of Shahdadkot, and Circle -9 of Umerkot where similar messages were written on the screen of the tablet on May 18, 2023. The CM said that the enumerators who entered the data of the blocks were not being accepted by the Central data centers. Sharing the data from the 2017 census, Murad Shah said that Punjab had a population of 109,989, 655 with 17,107,953 listed households (HH) showing the average size of a household at 6.43 members. In 2023 the projected population of Punjab was calculated at 123,375,402 with a 6.24 average size of a household. In the census of 2017, the population of Sindh was 47,854,510 with 8,626,204 listed households. The average size of a household was 5.55 per household. In 2023 the projected population of the province is 57,665,774 with 10,256,995 listed households. The average size of a household comes to 5.62. In 2017, the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa household size was recorded at 7.13; now, in 2023, it has been projected at 6.92. In 2017 the average size of a household in Balochistan was 6.97 and now – in 2023, it has been projected at 6.26.Sindh’s population 3.17% annual growth, Punjab’s reduced, and Balochistan’s increased.2017 Balochistan 6.7, Sindh 5.55.Murad Ali Shah said that the population of Sindh was 64.4 million while they were showing it at 57.66 million which showed a shortfall of 6.8 million.