Government releases Socio-Economic and Caste Census

New Delhi, July 3: Just 4.6 per cent of all rural households in the country pay income tax while such households with salaried income are close to 10 per cent, the first Socio Economic and Caste Census released in eight decades said today.

The percentage of Scheduled Caste (SC) households paying income tax was 3.49 per cent while Scheduled Tribe (ST) tax-paying rural households were mere 3.34 per cent, the Socio Economic and Caste Census 2011 said.

Arun Jaitley and Birender Singh

Releasing the Census, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the data will help in better targeting of government policies.

"The enormity of schemes and reaches that all governments have, this document will form a basis of helping us target groups for support in terms of policy planning," he told reporters.

He said the document will reflect the reality of India and be a very important input for all policymakers both for the central and state governments.

This is the first Census released after 1932 and contains various details with regard to specific regions, communities, caste and economic groups and measures the progress of the households in India.

"It is after 7-8 decades that we have this document after 1932 of the caste census. It is also a document which contains various details ... who are the ones who have qualitatively moved up in terms of life, which are the ones both in terms of geographical regions, social groupings which in future planning needs to be targeted," Jaitley said.

The census survey, which was carried out in all the 640 districts of the country, pegged rural households at 17.91 crore.

The total households in the country -- rural plus urban -- stand at 24.39 crore. Of all the rural households, 7.05 crore, or 39.39 per cent, was termed as 'Excluded Households' which did not have an income of over Rs 10,000 per month, or did not own either an automobile, fishing boat or kisan credit card.

While 5.39 crore (30.10 per cent) out of total rural households depended on crop cultivation for sustenance, 9.16 crore (51.14 per cent) earned income through manual casual labour. Some 44.84 lakh worked as domestic helps, 4.08 lakh were rag pickers and 6.68 lakh beggars.

"The data addresses the multi dimensionality of poverty and provides a unique opportunity for a convergent, evidence based planning with a Gram Panchayat as unit," Rural Development Minister Chaudhary Birendra Singh said.

Of all the rural salaried households, 5 per cent earned salaries from the government while those employed in the private sector constituted 3.57 per cent of the total households. Public sector-employed households made up 1.11 per cent of the total.

The Census said 94 per cent of the rural households owned a house with 54 per cent having 1-2 room dwellings. Landless ownership was 56 per cent of the total rural population, with 70 per cent of SCs and 50 per cent of STs being landless owners.

As many as 39 per cent of the rural households are classified by the Census as automatically excluded and 48.50 per cent meeting one or the more deprivation criteria.

Over 11 per cent rural households possessed refrigerators and 20.69 per cent had either an automobile or a fishing boat.

"The Ministry of Rural Development, in consultation with states, is trying to implement a convergent, integrated poverty reduction plan with Gram Panchayats and deprived households as priority," an official statement said.


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