ISLAMABAD – Minister of State for Information Maryam Aurangzeb stated on Sunday that Pakistan’s sixth housing and population census would start on March 15 and will continue until May 25.

Detailing the process, Aurangzeb said the census will be conducted in two phases, with the first phase starting from March 15 to April 15, followed by a 10 day break for logistical arrangements, after which the second phase will continue until May 25.

‘The budget of the census is Rs18.5 billion’ said the minister as she addressed a crucial press conference regarding the next census which would be done after a gap of 19 years.

Aurangzeb, accompanied by Director General (DG) Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR) Maj Gen Asif Ghafoor, told the newsmen that a Rs50,000 fine and jail time would be handed to those who misrepresented facts or provided incorrect data intentionally.

The DG ISPR added that the census would be conducted with the assistance of over 200,000 troops in approximately 168,000 blocks.

General Asif Ghafoor maintained that the soldiers will go to each house, fill in their own forms, then once the data is provided, the soldier who will have a link to the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) will be able to get Nadra verification of the data immediately.

The army has created a support plan for the census according to which the military has three tasks, Ghafoor said.

“That the census is smooth, transparent and that security and law and order are maintained” added DG ISPR.

General Asif Ghafoor expressed that with the help from the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, master trainers in various cities have trained more trainers under them at the division level, so soldiers were well-trained to undertake this task.