PPP for using Nadra data instead of conducting census

  • January 05, 2016

    Print : Karachi

    When the government already has a reliable database of the country’s population in terms of the records available with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra), then what is the logic behind spending Rs14.5 billion on a “door-to-door” census, a misguided effort that has repeatedly failed?

    These were the views of general secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party’s Sindh chapter, Senator Taj Haider, in a statement issued on Monday.

    According to him, the “obsolete” methodology of “door-to-door count” had always been hijacked by militant groups who manipulate figures to their own advantage. He said the database

    available with Nadra was accurate and was also used in making electoral rolls, disbursement of stipends under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) and the nationwide poverty survey comprising of 48 questions that provided detailed information about households, even more than collected by the Census.

    Haider said rigging in the national elections was helped by the fact that delimitations of constituencies took place on a “faulty census” done in 1998 using this “door-to-door” method. On the other hand, he said, the voters’ lists were prepared on the basis of Nadra database.

    He said there should be a single, scientific and reliable database on which all provincial and national programmes are built.

    He said efforts should be made for improving the available database of Nadra in a scientific manner to include the small percentage of population which remain uncovered. He said economic migration should be factored in the “present address” column, rather than repeating a “failed experiment” of door-to-door count over again. Haider, in his statement, also attached a population count of Karachi as a sample that had been provided to him by Nadra in “just forty minutes” two years ago.