The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics has officially commenced the preparation for the sixth Population and Housing Census.
The countrywide primary listing of households through a mobile phone-based application will begin in the next month.
The statistics bureau will conduct the seven-day-long census from January 2 to January 8 in 2021.
The prime minister will address the nation prior to the beginning of the main census.
The details were revealed at a workshop of the bureau in Dhaka on Thursday.
Planning Minister MA Mannan, who joined the workshop as the chief guest, said, "Do not waste money. If it can be done at Tk1, do not spend Tk2."
Urging the officials to stay alert to ensure the authenticity of the information and to complete the task in time, the planning minister said, "Keep in mind that the image of the government is associated with it.
"Therefore, it does not matter whether it (the number of population) rises or falls. What matters is accuracy. You have to do everything so that this census can be the best compared to the previous ones."
Cabinet Secretary Khandker Anwarul Islam said, "We could do better in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business index if we could provide them with updated information. The officials should be responsible so that the field-level employees do their job accurately."
Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister Ahmad Kaikaus said, "The Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics is a competent and professional institute. We all happily believe the World Bank data. But many do not know that those are taken from the Bureau."
He claimed the previous census was questionable. "None went to my residence and I later gave the information over telephone."
Statistics and Informatics Division Secretary Saurendra Nath Chakrabhartty said, "Countdown of the census will begin on March 17 marking the Birth Centenary of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman. The zero hour of January 2, 2021, has been set as the reference point of the census."
The census project director Md Jahidul Haque Sarder said the project was approved at The Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (Ecnec) meeting in October last year.
He said the workshop was organised to inform people about the census and to receive opinions from experts and stakeholders on the mobile application to be used for the household census.
He said data will be collected though multimode method (mobile app, web app, pick and drop, paper based, call centre etc). The project will have a pilot basis e-census for the first time.
The census will include expatriate Bangladeshis as well as foreigners staying in Bangladesh for the first time.
UNFPA representative to Bangladesh Asa Britta Torkelsson and Director General of the Bureau Mohammad Tajul Islam also spoke at the workshop.
The BBS conducts the census in every 10 years. The last one was conducted in 2011.