Tap Census deprivation data to revise, expand BPL: Panel to Govt

Tap Census deprivation data to revise, expand BPL: Panel to Govt

  • In what could herald a major shift in the implementation of state-funded welfare schemes, an expert panel constituted by the government has recommended that the Social Economic Caste Census (SECC) data, that measures the multidimensionality of poverty, should replace the erstwhile Planning Commission’s Below Poverty Line (BPL).
  • SECC expert panel was headed by former Finance Secretary Sumit Bose.
  • The decision to move away from the age-old practice of using BPL, if taken, would apply across all Central and state-funded welfare schemes.
  • The greatest impact would be on National Social Assistance Programmes for the elderly, widows and disabled persons as the adoption of the panel’s recommendations, would significantly expand the beneficiaries, requiring an additional expenditure of Rs 6700 crore annually.
  • The BPL, as fixed by the erstwhile Planning Commission based on income or consumption expenditure, has been the benchmark for targeting of beneficiaries for welfare schemes.
  • The SECC 2011 rural data, on the other hand, ranks rural households on various deprivation parameters.
  • Accordingly, of the 17.94 crore rural households, 7.06 crore (40%) are automatically excluded based on their income and assets.
  • 1 %, i.e. 16.32 lakh households, falls into automatic inclusion criteria of being homeless, living on alms, manual scavengers or belonging to primitive tribal groups.
  • As per report, nearly half of rural households would be eligible for skilling programmes under the Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Grameen Kaushalya Yojana.
  • There is a need for Social Registry Information System with list of beneficiaries of all social security programmes.

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