Chief Statistician Says Filling Census Forms with Pencils Not Allowed

Pakistan’s Chief Statistician, Asif Bajwa, confirmed in a press briefing on Friday that Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) did not issue any direction to use pencils to fill census forms. The PBS head mentioned that “no enumerator or supervisor has been issued a pencil for filling forms. All of them should have pens for this purpose. Filling forms with pencils is not allowed at any cost.”

Addressing a press conference in Islamabad regarding complaints received during three days of census, Bajwa shared that only one incident of using a pencil has was encountered during the census so far in which a female enumerator was using pencil, only to be filled the form later by pen. He explained that “the enumerator reasoned that she used pencil for fear of mistakes and thought of filling forms later by herself with pen. She had no such official directions.” Bajwa further clarified that she was filling a form of house count and not a population census.

At the same time, Bajwa took the opportunity to announce that PBS was resolving complaints regarding house count. According to Bajwa, census numbers were written on outer wall of every apartment, if there is somewhere the number is missing, you should immediately report it. He elucidated that “a house with ground plus two storeys will be considered one structure. People have assumed that if the structure is housing two families then it should have two numbers, which is wrong. However, each family will be enumerated separately.”

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