Census is a waste of precious resources

This is with reference to the reports ‘Census extended till May 15’ and ‘Sindh refuses to accept census results unless correct numbers reported’ as well as the editorial ‘Census controversy’ all of which appeared on the same day (April 29). For the last few months, I have been in search of someone who will help me understand the need for holding the census in the country. All the controversies related to the ongoing census made me throw the question into the larger pool through these lines in the hope that someone somewhere across the country, or maybe abroad, might bring my search to an end.

The initial cost of the census was said to be Rs34 billion, which is a huge sum by any means, but particularly so in the current times of financial crunch. Besides, it is common knowledge that the country has a comprehensive database managed by the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra). In fact, many over the years have claimed that it is one of the best in the world. In the presence of that database with complete current and permanent addresses as well as the number of adults and minors in a household, what is the point of collecting the same information all over again?

If the census is about bringing into the loop those who are still not registered with Nadra, let me point out that the census teams visiting homes across the country first of all ask for the CNICs before seeking any other detail.

To me, a physical census is nothing but a waste of human and financial resources. With updated data available just a one click away at Nadra, the census, in fact, is a clear tussle with logic and common sense. Please correct me if my understanding is flawed. Anyone?

SOHAIB KAMIL

KARACHI

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