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Cabinet approves cost revision of caste census

New Delhi, July 26 (IANS) The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA), chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Wednesday approved revision of the cost of Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 (SECC-2011) to Rs 4,893.60 crore from Rs 3,543.29 crore estimated earlier.

The SECC-2011 project concluded on March 31 last year.

“The Cabinet approval provides for revising the cost of SECC-2011 to Rs 4,893.60 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,” an official statement from the CCEA said here.

It also provided for 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, it said.

The statement said that the cost of SECC-2011 had already been committed and the project had met all its milestones.

The SECC had paved the way for better targeting of the poor and evidence-based targeted intervention for ameliorating conditions of the poor households, it said.

“Before the availability of SECC data, correct identification of eligible beneficiaries was a major challenge. Accusation of bias in the below the poverty line list affected coverage of poorest of the poor,” it added.

The 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.

“The database provides an authentic list of information disclosed by the households for identifying and prioritising beneficiaries under various schemes run by the Ministry of Rural Development and other departments in the government,” the statement said.

Ranking of households is made through a three-step process involving 13 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.

The government has advised states to use this process, SECC data and its Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) number data for identification of poor under the Deendayal Antyodaya Yojana (DAY) and the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin (PMAY-G).

Before the availability of SECC-21011 data, below the poverty line list prepared in 2002, by states/union territories was being used for identifying beneficiaries of development programmes and schemes, including the Pradhan Mantri Awaas Yojana-Gramin and the National Social Assistance Programme.

The 2002 BPL list attracted claims of biases.

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