SECC Data May be Used for Finding Right Beneficiaries
Rural development ministry likely to move cabinet note
New Delhi: The government plans to use the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 data to identify individual beneficiaries for all its schemes to ensure that benefits meant for the deprived population reach the right people, a senior official said.
A cabinet note will be moved soon to start this change, the person said.
Presently, only the rural development ministry and a few departments use the Socio Economic and Caste Census (SECC) data for their programmes.
The note being prepared by the rural development ministry would suggest the use of SECC data for all schemes including the National Food Security Act and health programmes, the official said. “We will have to come up with a formula to see who will qualify to get each subsidy,” the person told ET. “This way, more deserving will be able to get the benefits of the schemes.”
The move is in line with the recommendations of a committee formed to study validity and efficiency of the SECC 2011 data in identifying the poor.
The panel, headed by former finance secretary Sumit Bose, in its report spoke in favour of using SECC data for rural development schemes and suggested a formula to use some of the deprivation parameters to identify the beneficiaries for specific schemes. Several schemes such as the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana – Gramin, earlier known as the Indira Awaas Yojana, used the poverty line figures to identify beneficiaries. The government made a change through a cabinet note last year to use the SECC 2011 data instead.
Besides the rural development ministry, some departments including health and electricity have shown inclination to use SECC data instead of the poverty line estimates.
Many states have also expressed interest in using the data to identify the actual deprived for their schemes for poor households for schemes such as Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY) LPG connection scheme.
SECC data provides for automatic exclusion on the basis of 14 parameters, automatic inclusion on the basis of five parameters, and grading of deprivation on the basis of seven criteria.
According to SECC data released in July 2015, more than 62% of rural households in the country qualified as deprived. Of the total 17.9 crore rural households, 13%, or 2.37 crore house- Govt official holds, still live in houses with only one room with temporary, makeshift walls and roof.
More than four crore households have no literate adult over 25 years of age, while 65 lakh are without any adult member between age 18 and 59.
In an event that there is a disparity in the identification of beneficiaries using the below poverty line certificate and the SECC data, the latter is likely to prevail since it is more scientific and targeted.
“This way, the more deserving will be able to get the benefits of the schemes.”