The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, headed by PM Modi has approved the proposal of Department of Rural Development for revision of cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC 2011). It provides for:
(a) Revising the cost of SECC 2011 to Rs. 4893.60 crore from the approved estimated expenditure of Rs.3,543.29 crore within the indicative cost of Rs.4,000 crore as approved by the Government.
(b) Approval of time and cost overrun and consequential revision in the upper limit of cost per record to the consortium of Central Public Sector Undertakings.
The SECC -2011 project has been concluded on 31.3.2016. The cost has already been committed and the project has met all its milestones.
The Government of India has been spending a large sum of money on poverty alleviation and welfare programmes in rural and urban areas of the country to assist the poor and the marginalized section of the society. The SECC has paved the way for better targeting of the poor and evidence based targeted intervention for ameliorating conditions of the poor households.
Before the availability of SECC data, correct identification of eligible beneficiaries was a major challenge. Accusation of bias in the BPL list affected coverage of poorest of the poor. SECC data is based on information furnished by households.
In addition, households were given opportunity to raise claims and objections on SECC enumerated and published data. Thus, SECC database provides an authentic list of information disclosed by the households for identifying and prioritising beneficiaries under various schemes run by Ministry of Rural Development and other Departments in the Government.
Ranking of Households is made through a three-step process involving thirteen Exclusion parameters for identifying not-poor households, five Automatic Inclusion parameters for identifying poorest of the poor households and seven Deprivation Criteria for identifying poor households.
Government of India has advised States to use this process, SECC data and its TIN number of households for identification of poor under Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY), Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin(PMAY-G), etc. Use of SECC-2011 has brought transparency in selection of beneficiary and its structured incidence with DBT having maximal impact on governance and accountability.
Before the availability of SECC -21011 data, Below Poverty Line (BPL) list prepared in 2002, by States/UTs was being used for identifying beneficiaries of development programmes and schemes including Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G)) and National Social Assistance Programme(NSAP).
The 2002 BPL list attracted claims of biases. It was decided by the Government on 19.05.2011 to launch a Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 in order to get data for ranking of households for receiving benefits from the Government.
To avoid exclusion and inclusion errors, the SECC 2011 elicited information on identified parameters from each household for identification of deprivation and multi-dimensionality of poverty.
The Ministry of Rural Development provided financial and technical support to the States/UTs for conducting Socio Economic and Caste Census-2011 (SECC-2011) to generate a large number of socio and economic indicators for ranking of each rural household across the country.
The project could not be completed in scheduled time as the States/UTs needed more time to deal with enumeration and claims and objections. Cost increased from Rs.4000 crore approved by the Government to Rs.4893.60 crore.
SECC allows ranking of households based on their socio economic status. SECC-2011 provides the government the names and number of families in each Panchayat and details their status on seven deprivation parameters.
The advantage of SECC is that it provides for programme specific customized priority list to suit programme objective and budget space to address specific deprivation. Ministry of Rural Development has generated customized priority list for Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojna-Gramin(PMAY-G) and Deen Dayal Antyodaya Yojana – National Rural Livelihoods Mission (DAY-NRLM) from SECC following due selection process approved by the Government.